Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - May - 2011 Issue

James Cook from Antiquariat Eigl

Deathofcook1830

Depiction of the death of James Cook.

Item 6 shows the track of Cook's ship Resolution in 1772-73 that disproved the southern continent theory. It is headed A Map of the South Pole, with the track of his Majesty's Sloop Resolution is Search of a Southern Continent. The map was published in The Gentleman's Magazine a year prior to the official publication by the Admiralty. It shows Cook penetrating the Arctic Circle on three occasions, territory previously thought to be covered by land. €590 (US $838).

 

There is one book about Captain Cook that is most appropriate in German. It is Heinrich Zimmermann's von Wißloch in der Pfalz, Reise um die Welt, mit Capitain Cook. Heinrich Zimmermann was an ordinary sailor, a German national who served on the lower deck on Cook's third journey. Though an ordinary sailor, he proved to be surprisingly literate. He kept notes, which he used to write this book. It was either Zimmermann or Rickman's account that was the first one to be published by a participant in Cook's final journey (precedence is unclear). It was not supposed to be this way. No sailors were permitted to publish prior to the release of the official account. Zimmermann didn't wait. He knew there was an audience for this story. So, he published in Germany, safely out of the reach of the British Admiralty that banned such a publication. His first edition was published in 1781. Item 52 is a copy of the second German edition from 1783. €29,000 (US $41,275).

 

All good things come to an end. Item 5 is a hand-colored lithograph of the death of Captain Cook. The artist, or the origin of this leaf depicting Cook's dramatic last moments is unknown. Antiquariat Eigl estimates it as circa 1830. Cook is depicted fallen to one knee, attempting to hold off the attacking Hawaiian natives. There is undoubtedly some artistic license taken here, but it more or less depicts the events of that day. €600 (US $855).

 

Antquariat Eigl may be reached at (0049) (0)8031 / 33504 or RalfEigl@t-online.de. Their website is found at www.AntiquariatEigl.de.

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