Auction 359 Old & Rare Books - Various subjects

MARITIME HISTORY - TRAVELLING -- COOK, J., J. HAWKESWORTH & J. KING. An Account of the Voyages Undertaken by the order of His present Majesty for Making Discoveries in the Southern Hemisphere. - A Voyage towards the South Pole, and round the World. - A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean. - Lond., W. & A. Strahan, 1773-1777-1784. 3 in 10 vols. (incl. 1 plate-vol. & 1 atlas-vol.). (12), xxxvi, 676; xvi, 410; (6), 411-799; xl, 378; (8), 396; (8), xcvi, 421; (12), 549; (12), 558, (1) pp. W. engr. portr. of Cook by J. Basire after W. Hodges & tog. 203 engr. maps/charts/plates (plate 44 of 3rd voyage twice). 4° (290 x 230 mm) & 1 lge-fol. (580 x 440 mm). Recently bound in beautiful russian leather (see note!) w. richly dec. gilt spines, all sides with gilt dec. borders, gilt dec. board-edges, speckled edges, marbled endpapers. Atlas in modern custom-made cloth slipcase. (A few small splits in margins, 1 plate skillfully rep., lower margin of plate-vol. cut short in a few places, some unobtrusive foxing, but else a very fine and well-preserved set).

A superb set of first editions of Cook's three voyages. The plates for the second voyage are bound in a separate plate-volume (same size), some of the plates for the third volume are bound in the text, and the greater part in a matching large folio atlas. The extra map of the Strait of Maggelan and the extra plate of the death of Cook are not present. The russian leather of the bindings has a large prestige due to the unusual story of its discovery and rescue from a wreck forgotten at the bottom of the sea for almost two centuries! The Danish brigantine "Die Frau Metta Catharina von Flensburg", coming from Saint Petersburg to Genoa with a cargo of hemp and skins, ran aground in Plymouth Sound in 1786; and it was only in 1973 that archaeological divers (the British Sub-Aqua Club), looking for another ship, discovered it by chance. This event gave rise to a spectacular auction, where bookbinders and booksellers acquired many top quality skins, including the one used to bind this set. (Cf. The Wreck of the Metta Catharina, G. Garbett G. & I. Skelton, 1987 (added in photostat)). - "Captain Cook's three great voyages form the basis for any collection of Pacific books. In three great voyages Cook did more to clarify the geographical knowledge of the southern hemisphere than all his predecessors together had done. He was the first really scientific navigator, and his voyages made great contributions to many fields of knowledge" (Hill). Cook's first voyage included visits to Tahiti and New Zealand, and the tracing of the east coast of Australia was one of the most perilous feats of navigation in the whole recorded history of exploration. The second voyage pushed further south in search of a southern continent than any previous navigators, as well as visiting numerous Pacific islands. The third voyage returned to islands previously visited, discovered Hawaii, and explored the northwest coast of America from Alaska to Oregon. The text of these official reports forms an invaluable record of the voyages, but they are enhanced enormously by the plates, maps, charts, and views which include the work of one of the most important cartographers of his day as well as images from the three most important artists to visit the Pacific during the eighteenth century. - First Voyage: Hill 782; Sabin 30934; Holmes 5. Second Voyage: Hill 358; PMM 223; Sabin 16245; Holmes 24; Third Voyage: Hill 361; Sabin 16250; Holmes 47.

€ 30000

result € 24000

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