Monday, May 05, 2008

Collection of Rare Cook Materials to be Sold

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that a collection of James Cook materials (books, maps, portraits, manuscripts, &c.) will be sold this month "in a fixed-price sale organised by Hordern House, the rare books specialist." The 133-item collection has been accumulated "over the past 15 years by an American investment consultant, Robert Parks."

Highlights include a 1772 manuscript letter by Cook requesting the return of one of his sailors who had been press-ganged by the East India Company, and one of two surviving copies of the "Banks Map," the first to show the entire continent of Australia. "Other oddities in Mr Parks's collection include a print of Cook watching a boxing match in Hawaii; another print shows what is believed to be the first image of a surfer in western art. There are scientific treaties examining Cook's successful prevention of scurvy and an extremely rare book of Hawaiian and Tahitian fabrics that had been collected by Cook and his men on the Resolution."

The Hordern House catalogue will be available later this month for A$45.

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