Auction 111, Lot 769

"A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean. Undertaken by the Command of His Majesty, for making Discoveries in the Northern Hemisphere…", Cook, James (Capt.)

Subject: Exploration - Pacific

Period: 1784 (published)


Color: Black & White

10 x 12.5 inches
25.4 x 31.8 cm

Complete and matched quarto set of three volumes with all eighty-seven maps and plates (some folding) bound in. This is the more desirable second edition that is uniformly bound in newer cloth and paper with gilt leather label on spine. Uncut pages, all with deckled edges. The title continues: "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. In Three Volumes. Vol. I and II written by Captain James Cook, F.R.S. Vol. III by Captain James King, LL.D. and F.R.S. Published by Order of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty." Hard bound, Vol. I 421pp, Vol. II 549pp, Vol. III 558pp, 87 maps and views. Three plates bound out of order.

Cook's third, and final, expedition was organized to continue the British exploration of the Pacific, seek out the famous Northwest Passage and to return Omai, a Tahitian native brought to London at the end of the second voyage, to his home. Leaving England in 1776, the expedition stopped at Kerguelen Island, Tasmania, New Zealand, the Cook, Tonga and Society islands. They then sailed north and discovered Christmas Island and the Hawaiian islands. The Northwest Coast of North America from the Bering Straits along the coast of Alaska and Canada, as far south as northern California was then fully explored. The expedition returned to Hawaii in 1778 where a tragic series of events lead to the death of Capt. Cook. The expedition continued under Captains Clerke and Gore, exploring the coasts of Siberia and Kamchatka, finally reaching England in 1780. Some of the officers serving with Cook included several men who became famous in their own right: William Bligh, James Burney, James Colnett, George Vancouver, and the expedition's artist John Webber.

References: Streeter 3478; Sabin #16250.

Condition: A

Overall, excellent. With very occasional minor tears repaired, some minor gutter stains. Occasional offsetting to some maps, else an overall fine and complete example.

Estimate: $18,000 - $22,000


Closed on 6/8/2005