Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - July - 2008 Issue

A Stunning Captain James Cook Catalogue from Hordern House

Cook

Captain James Cook from Hordern House.


By Michael Stillman

We recently received what must be the finest catalogue we have seen in the five years we have been presenting reviews. When a book catalogue comes with a hard cover and dust jacket, you know it is going to be special. Still, this was unexpected. Hordern House, the Australian bookseller that often features travels and voyages, regularly publishes extraordinary catalogues. This one is spectacular. The title is Captain James Cook The Great Discoverer. Offered is The Robert and Mary Anne Parks Collection. The Parks, collectors from Michigan, assembled a fantastic collection Cook and Cook-related material. This stunning presentation offers thorough, detailed descriptions and images of each item. Now this catalogue can join the items that belong in a Cook collection. Here are some of those offered.

The catalogue starts with a signature from early in Cook's career. Long before he embarked on his three journeys to the Pacific, Cook was sent to map areas of Atlantic Canada, first the St. Lawrence, later Newfoundland. It was the thoroughness of his work that led to Cook's being selected to lead his three famed voyages. Item 1 is a May 12, 1859 discharge certificate for Lieutenant George Allen from HMS Pembroke, signed by Cook. Allen was discharged for the very good reason that he was dead. Normally, the discharge would have been signed by Captain Simcoe as the commander, but he was mortally ill by this time. Priced at AU $78,500 (that is Australian dollars, or approximate US equivalent of $75,125).

Item 7 is a unique survival of Cook's first voyage, the first printed map of the lands it discovered. It was created by the expedition's naturalist, Sir Joseph Banks, and his botanist, Daniel Solander. It is the first map to depict the complete continent of Australia (then called "New Holland") and the two islands of New Zeeland. It is one of only two copies of this map known to exist, and the only copy on thick paper. The Hordern House catalogue includes a fold-out image of this very rare map. Price on request.

Item 34 is an unusual letter from Captain Cook as he prepared for his second voyage. This was perhaps his most important trip as it once and for all disproved the theory of a massive southern continent. The letter is addressed to a "Mr. Coggin," likely Charles Coggan, a director of the English East India Company. Cook, in his own hand, pleads for the release of one James Keaton, who was evidently press-ganged onto an East India Company ship to serve as a soldier. Press-ganging was a nasty way of recruiting sailors in the day, where they were involuntarily pulled off the streets and forced into service. Keaton must have been a sailor that Cook intended to bring on his voyage, so he pleads, "...I beg you will order him to be discharged or delivered up to such persons as I shall send for that purpose." Hordern House notes that there is no record of a James Keaton ever sailing with Cook, and that it is unlikely that this represents a confusion with the somewhat similarly named John Heaton, which perhaps indicates Cook's plea was not successful. Price on request.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Announcing a new Books for Sale platform hosted by Biblio</b>
    <b>List your books simultaneously on Rare Book Hub and Biblio</b>
  • <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Exodus 10:10 to 16:15. Complete Biblical scroll sheet in Hebrew, a Torah scroll panel. Middle East, ca. 10th or 11th century.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Copernicus Refuted. (Astronomy.). Scientific manuscript of a course of studies at Collège de la Trinité, Lyon. 1660s.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Israel’s War of Independence and the Early Days of the IDF. 58 photographs presented to Israel Ber, IDF officer and later convicted spy.
    <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Early Unpublished Darwin letter on the races of man. Autograph Letter Signed [to Henry Denny]. Down, Kent, June 1, [1844].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Classic Image of American Slavery. Kimball, M. H. <i>Emancipated Slaves</i>. New York: George Hanks, 1863.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> (Underground Railroad.) Scaggs, Isaac. Important Runaway Slave Poster: $500 Reward Ran away, or decoyed from the subscriber…
  • <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Newton. <i>Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica</i>. London, 1687.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Josephus. <i>De antiquitate Judaica.</i> Lubeck, 1475-76.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Carlerius. <i>Sporta fragmentorum, Sportula fragmentorum</i>. Brussels, 1478-79.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Fridolin. <i>Der Schatzbehalter</i>. Nuremberg, 1491.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Pinder. <i>Der beschlossen gart des rosenkrantz marie</i>. Nuremberg, 1505.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Isidorus Hispalensis. <i>Synonyma de Homine</i>. Nuremberg, 1470-71.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Durer. Sammelband including <i>Underweysung der messing</i>. Nuremberg, 1525-29.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 19: 19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 28: Printed & Manuscript Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 5: African-American Fine Art</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 17: Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 19:<br>Art & Storytelling: Photographs & Photobooks</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 26: Rare & Important Travel Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 2:<br>Old Master Through Modern Prints</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 7: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14: 19th & 20th Century Literature</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 16: Contemporary Art</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 5:<br>Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 14: Illustration Art</b>

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions