James Cook at Reiss & Sohn

In April 2009 the small booklet ‘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 James Cook’s death, realized a startling price of € 110,000 at Reiss & Sohn in Königstein.

In this year’s fall sales of the German auctioneers, a special catalogue is dedicated to the great navigator and pioneer, the discovery of the Northwest Passage and the exploration of the Pacific. Amongst many other books, primarily from a very fine private collection, it includes a complete set of Cook’s ‘Voyages’ in first editions, published 1773-1784 (€ 20,000), and a coloured copy of Sidney Parkinson’s ‘Voyage to the South Seas’ of 1784 (€ 15,000). In addition to the splendidly bound books, the collection contains several rare portraits, maps and views, including an outstanding original drawing by Cook’s travel companion John Webber, incurred on the return trip after Cook’s death whilst the expedition stayed in Macao between December 1779 and January 1780 (€ 20,000).