The First Account of Captain Cook’s Death Sold for Almost $ 170,000

This year’s spring sales by German auctioneers Reiss & Sohn, located in Koenigstein/Taunus, turned in some exceptional prices. Baron Nikolaus von Jacquin’s magnificent work ‘Plantarum rariorum Horti caesarei Schoenbrunnensis descriptiones et icones’, published 1797-1804, was sold for Euro 150.800 (approx. US $ 200.000) incl. buyer’s premium. Even more startling, however, was the result for the anonymous “Nachrichten von dem Leben und den Seereisen des berühmten Captain Cook”, published in 1780 in Reval (now Tallinn in Estonia) and Leipzig, and considered to be the first account of Captain Cook’s death. Estimated at Euro 10.000, the small work realized eventually Euro 127,600 (approx. US $ 169,300). In the same sale, a splendid copy of François Péron’s and Louis de Freycinet’s important travel account ‘Voyage de découvertes aux terres Australes’ (1812-1815) has been sold for Euro 34,800 (US $ 46.200). The next Reiss & Sohn sales will take place in October.