• The Wolfgang A. Herz Library:  auction at Christies

    Sale 2158

    The Wolfgang A. Herz Library: Important Voyages and Travels

    9 December 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 14

    COOK, James, Capt. and Capt. James KING. -- [THIRD VOYAGE]. A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean, undertaken by the Command of His Majesty, for Making Discoveries in the Northern Hemisphere. To determine the Position and Extent of the West Side of North America; its Distance from Asia; and the Practicality of a Northern Passage to Europe. Performed under the direction of Captains Cook, Clerke, and Gore, In His Majesty's Ships the Resolution and Discovery, In the years 1776, 1777, 1778, 1779, and 1780. London: W. and A. Strahan for G. Nicol and T. Cadell, 1784.

    Price Realised  

    COOK, James, Capt. and Capt. James KING. -- [THIRD VOYAGE]. A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean, undertaken by the Command of His Majesty, for Making Discoveries in the Northern Hemisphere. To determine the Position and Extent of the West Side of North America; its Distance from Asia; and the Practicality of a Northern Passage to Europe. Performed under the direction of Captains Cook, Clerke, and Gore, In His Majesty's Ships the Resolution and Discovery, In the years 1776, 1777, 1778, 1779, and 1780. London: W. and A. Strahan for G. Nicol and T. Cadell, 1784.

    3 text volumes, 4o (290 x 228 mm.) and 2o atlas (535 x 374 mm). Text with 24 engraved plates, maps and charts (13 folding) and folding table; atlas with 61 engraved plates after Webber and 2 engraved folding maps (some spotting to plates in atlas, a few chips to edges of several plates in the text volumes). Text bound in contemporary speckled calf, spines gilt (hinges starting, corners worns, some light rubbing to edges); atlas in contemporary calf (worn). Provenance: Johnston family (bookplates beneath following); Lord Blayney, probably Andrew Blaney 11th Lord Blaney (1770-1834, bookplates in text volumes pasted over a member of the Johnston family's), Irish peer and celebrated soldier from County Monaghan.

    FIRST EDITION OF THE OFFICIAL ACCOUNT OF COOK'S LAST VOYAGE, WITH THE ATLAS, published five years after Cook's death and long after other accounts were published by men who had sailed with him on that voyage. All were unauthorized publications whose authors sought to relate the true circumstances of Cook's death in Hawaii: John Rickman and Heinrich Zimmermann in 1781, William Ellis in 1782, and John Ledyard in 1783. None of these men were true witnesses to Cook's death, but their accounts were translated and reprinted in England, Europe and America, and widely read. By 1784, when the first official account was completed for the press by Captain James King and published, it was already popular enough for the whole of the first edition to sell out in just three days. It is Cook's own accounts published in these quarto volumes, however, which are the cornerstone for any collection of Pacific voyages. As Hill notes, "He did more to clarify the geographical knowledge of the southern hemisphere than all his predecessors together had done." Lord Blayney was the author of a two-volume account of his exploits in the Napoleonic War s, Narrative of a Forced Journey through Spain and France as a Prisoner of War in the Years 1810 to 1814, by Major-General Lord Blayney (London, 1814). Hill 361; Holmes 47; Lada-Mocarski 37; Mitchell Library Cook 1552; Sabin 16250. (4)


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