The Stewart Park exhibition included 'Relics relating to Captain Cook which have been kindly loaned for the purpose of the Exhibition from all parts of the country', the exhibits arranged by Mr F. Elgee, curator of the Dorman Memorial Museum, Middlesbrough. Amongst the exhibits were Webber's portrait of Captain Cook, loaned by H.W.F. Bolckow (now in the National Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa) and Pacific artefacts presented by Cook to the 4th Earl of Sandwich, loaned by Lord Sandwich. Major Ward-Jackson, who loaned the present lot for the week long exhibition in Cook's birthplace, was vice president of the Patrons of the Captain Cook Bi-Centenary, 1928. The various celebrations were listed in a 'Programme of Arrangements...' (Beddie 2385). There was no catalogue for the Stewart Park exhibition, but a typescript 'list of articles' loaned survives (see above) which itemises the present lot. Another similar 'Cook Bi-Centenary Exhibition' was staged at The Pannett Art Gallery in Whitby, 3 October--1 November 1928. The 100 exhibits were accompanied by a descriptive catalogue (Beddie 2399).
Cook's pocket hammer is similar to the gun 'combination tools' manufactured on the continent in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. For similar, if more complicated, examples, which had such additional features as unscrewing heads and incorporated pliers, see H.L.Blackmore, Guns and Rifles of the World, London, 1965, pls. 826-7 (two 'huntsman's set of tools' with similar hammers and flint knappers). It has also been suggested that the item is a late 18th century English sugar or toffee hammer (for which see J. Seymour Lindsay, Iron and Brass Implements of the English House, London, enlarged edition 1964, fig. 208).
Tools themselves were an object of enquiry and their exchange with the Polynesians on all three voyages was a considerable issue. The second voyage ships were victualled with hundreds of axes and hatchets, and in bundles, by the dozen, and in hundredweights: 'adzes,...broad axes,...spike nails, nails 40 pence & upward, chizzles, saws, Coopers augers, knives, scissars, tweezors, combs..., looking glasses, beads in sorts, old shirts not patched, red baize, old cloaths, Hatts, fine old sheets, kettles or potts, Hammers with helves, Grindstones, Whetstones, Steel, Wyer, brass and iron, shot and 30 dozen yards of ribband', all 'in order to be exchanged for Refreshments with the Natives of such New discoverd or unfrequented Countries as they may touch at...'. As well as being exchanged for refreshments, the victuals won them goodwill and were bartered for Polynesian artefacts. Banks and the 'gentlemen' in particular collected artefacts on the voyages and exchanged tools. Banks commissioned forty replicas of Maori basalt cleavers, cast in brass and stamped with his family crest, name and the date 1772 (Banks's brass patus), to hand out on the second voyage, which expressed this mutual curiosity in artefact and materials. Such imitations were apparently already taken on the Endeavour voyage. The Tahitian Tootaha was as keen to acquire souvenirs as Banks on the first voyage: 'Monday May 1st  This morning Tootaha came on board the Ship and was very desirous of seeing into every Chest and Drawer that was in the Cabbin. I satisfied his curiosity as far as to open most of those that belong'd to me, but at last he cast his eye upon the Adze I had from Mr Stephens that was made in imitation of one of their Stone Adzes or axes...' (J.C. Beaglehole, The Journals of Captain James Cook on his voyages of Discovery, I, The Voyage of the Endeavour 1768-1771, Cambridge, 1955, p.86 and note 2, 'Evidently this was an iron, or perhaps steel, adze'). Here Cook describes an adze or axe given to Cook by the secretary to the Admiralty, Philip Stephens. The present lot, described as an object Cook 'carried with him', was presented to his friend and patron, the second secretary to the Admiralty, Sir George Jackson, and is a rare personal relic of the great navigator.