This site uses cookies. By accepting cookies you can optimise your browsing experience. Read more.
Australia: Captain James Cook's waistcoat expected to fetch $1.1 mil at auction02:24

Australia: Captain James Cook's waistcoat expected to fetch $1.1 mil at auction

Australia, Sydney
March 21, 2017 at 06:02 GMT +00:00 · Published

A 250-year old waistcoat that once belonged to Captain James Cook was showcased at Aalders Auctions in Sydney on Monday. The unique piece of history is expected to fetch up to $1.1 million when it goes under the hammer this weekend.

The embroidered silk waistcoat has attracted plenty of interest from both overseas and local collectors, according to Julian Aalders from Aalders Auctions.

“Our valuation on this piece is $800 - $1.1 million (Australian dollars). It is an auction, so it possibly may go for more money,” Mr Aalders said. “We’ve had a lot of interest from overseas collectors and institutions. On the same hand, we’ve had a lot of interest from Australian buyers. We feel it’s possible an Australian businessman might be the likely purchaser of this but we’d say that it might be donated to a museum if that’s the case.”

The floral design of the waistcoat is said to be based on a flower found in Cape York where both Cook and naturalist Joseph Banks spent nine weeks during their exploration around Australia in 1770 while repairs were made to their ship, the Endeavour.

It is thought Cook never got to wear the waistcoat himself as he was killed in 1779 in Hawaii.“We believe the waistcoat was made for Cook on the request of Banks for his upcoming knighthood on the finish of his third journey of discovery,” Mr Aalder said.“But unfortunately on that third voyage he died.”

According to Aalders, the garment was held onto by Cook’s widow, Elizabeth Cook, before coming into the possession of the antique dealing sisters, Helen and Isabel Woollan sometime after 1880.

In 1912, the waistcoat was presented to Australian suffragette and pianist, Dr Ruby Rich by English collector, Viscount Levenhulme. Dr Rich would later bequeath the item to her nephew, Charles Rich.

It is believed the waistcoat is currently owned by Sydney-based McLean family who bought the item in 1985 by private treaty.

“The current owners see themselves as the custodians and they feel it’s time to pass it on to another custodian,” Mr Aalders said. “The fairy-tale end to it would be that a museum or businessman would buy it, put it on display for other.”

The waistcoat will be auctioned in Sydney on Sunday, March 26.

Australia: Captain James Cook's waistcoat expected to fetch $1.1 mil at auction02:24
No Account? Sign up!
Description

A 250-year old waistcoat that once belonged to Captain James Cook was showcased at Aalders Auctions in Sydney on Monday. The unique piece of history is expected to fetch up to $1.1 million when it goes under the hammer this weekend.

The embroidered silk waistcoat has attracted plenty of interest from both overseas and local collectors, according to Julian Aalders from Aalders Auctions.

“Our valuation on this piece is $800 - $1.1 million (Australian dollars). It is an auction, so it possibly may go for more money,” Mr Aalders said. “We’ve had a lot of interest from overseas collectors and institutions. On the same hand, we’ve had a lot of interest from Australian buyers. We feel it’s possible an Australian businessman might be the likely purchaser of this but we’d say that it might be donated to a museum if that’s the case.”

The floral design of the waistcoat is said to be based on a flower found in Cape York where both Cook and naturalist Joseph Banks spent nine weeks during their exploration around Australia in 1770 while repairs were made to their ship, the Endeavour.

It is thought Cook never got to wear the waistcoat himself as he was killed in 1779 in Hawaii.“We believe the waistcoat was made for Cook on the request of Banks for his upcoming knighthood on the finish of his third journey of discovery,” Mr Aalder said.“But unfortunately on that third voyage he died.”

According to Aalders, the garment was held onto by Cook’s widow, Elizabeth Cook, before coming into the possession of the antique dealing sisters, Helen and Isabel Woollan sometime after 1880.

In 1912, the waistcoat was presented to Australian suffragette and pianist, Dr Ruby Rich by English collector, Viscount Levenhulme. Dr Rich would later bequeath the item to her nephew, Charles Rich.

It is believed the waistcoat is currently owned by Sydney-based McLean family who bought the item in 1985 by private treaty.

“The current owners see themselves as the custodians and they feel it’s time to pass it on to another custodian,” Mr Aalders said. “The fairy-tale end to it would be that a museum or businessman would buy it, put it on display for other.”

The waistcoat will be auctioned in Sydney on Sunday, March 26.

Top downloads in last 24 hours
Pool for subscribers only
02:18
Germany: Polar bear Hertha celebrates 2nd birthday with special cake at Berlin's TierparkGermany: Polar bear Hertha celebrates 2nd birthday with special cake at Berlin's Tierpark
December 1, 2020 at 15:12 GMT +00:00
02:28
USA: New Yorkers enjoy limited viewing time of Rockefeller Centre Christmas treeUSA: New Yorkers enjoy limited viewing time of Rockefeller Centre Christmas tree
December 3, 2020 at 10:43 GMT +00:00
Pool for subscribers only
01:00
Russia: Beautiful light pillars illuminate night sky in Tyumen Russia: Beautiful light pillars illuminate night sky in Tyumen
December 2, 2020 at 08:14 GMT +00:00
02:31
UAE: Impressive fireworks mark UAE National Day in DubaiUAE: Impressive fireworks mark UAE National Day in Dubai
December 3, 2020 at 04:27 GMT +00:00
03:15
Sudan: Doctor speaks of 'difficult' situation for Ethiopians at makeshift health centreSudan: Doctor speaks of 'difficult' situation for Ethiopians at makeshift health centre
December 2, 2020 at 20:59 GMT +00:00
03:10
Iran: Rouhani dismisses parliament nuclear bill as 'harmful' to diplomacyIran: Rouhani dismisses parliament nuclear bill as 'harmful' to diplomacy
December 2, 2020 at 16:44 GMT +00:00
00:42
USA: Mysterious metal monolith comes back, now on top of Atascadero's Pine Mountain in CaliforniaUSA: Mysterious metal monolith comes back, now on top of Atascadero's Pine Mountain in California
December 3, 2020 at 01:49 GMT +00:00
03:43
Sudan: Ethiopians fleeing conflict take shelter at Sudanese borderSudan: Ethiopians fleeing conflict take shelter at Sudanese border
December 2, 2020 at 21:47 GMT +00:00
Pool for subscribers only
05:51
USA: 'Democrats had this election rigged right from the beginning' - Trump on elex resultsUSA: 'Democrats had this election rigged right from the beginning' - Trump on elex results
December 3, 2020 at 00:00 GMT +00:00
02:59
State of Palestine: Student returns home after 15 months in Israeli prisonState of Palestine: Student returns home after 15 months in Israeli prison
December 2, 2020 at 15:55 GMT +00:00
02:56
France: Bayonne 'in shock' in aftermath of mosque shootingFrance: Bayonne 'in shock' in aftermath of mosque shooting
October 29, 2019 at 15:14 GMT +00:00
04:24
Sudan: Ethiopians fleeing Tigray conflict cross Tekeze riverSudan: Ethiopians fleeing Tigray conflict cross Tekeze river
December 1, 2020 at 20:52 GMT +00:00
02:36
Armenia: Demonstrators demanding Pashinyan’s resignation march through streets of YerevanArmenia: Demonstrators demanding Pashinyan’s resignation march through streets of Yerevan
December 2, 2020 at 23:20 GMT +00:00
04:29
Mannequin Skywalker - Darth Vader statue appears in Bristol in tribute to David ProwseMannequin Skywalker - Darth Vader statue appears in Bristol in tribute to David Prowse
December 3, 2020 at 04:35 GMT +00:00
02:25
UK: ‘Wild Wednesday’ - Londoners get festive as pubs reopen and vaccine approvedUK: ‘Wild Wednesday’ - Londoners get festive as pubs reopen and vaccine approved
December 2, 2020 at 23:02 GMT +00:00
Pool for subscribers only
00:50
94yo ex-French president Valery Giscard d'Estaing dies following COVID diagnosis *ARCHIVE*94yo ex-French president Valery Giscard d'Estaing dies following COVID diagnosis *ARCHIVE*
December 3, 2020 at 00:34 GMT +00:00
03:34
USA: Hundreds rally outside bar after owner is arrested for resisting COVID restrictionsUSA: Hundreds rally outside bar after owner is arrested for resisting COVID restrictions
December 3, 2020 at 08:24 GMT +00:00
03:22
Former French leader Valery Giscard d'Estaing dies aged 94 *ARCHIVE*Former French leader Valery Giscard d'Estaing dies aged 94 *ARCHIVE*
December 2, 2020 at 23:12 GMT +00:00
Pool for subscribers only
01:47
USA: Biden says 250,000 more might die by January amid COVID spreadUSA: Biden says 250,000 more might die by January amid COVID spread
December 3, 2020 at 03:27 GMT +00:00
06:13
'Mistress obliged me to appear whiter' - French dancer campaigns against racism in Berlin State Ballet'Mistress obliged me to appear whiter' - French dancer campaigns against racism in Berlin State Ballet
December 2, 2020 at 21:06 GMT +00:00
Pool for subscribers only
02:21
Russia: 'Let's make this first step' - Putin orders to begin mass vaccination against COVID-19Russia: 'Let's make this first step' - Putin orders to begin mass vaccination against COVID-19
December 2, 2020 at 20:42 GMT +00:00
Pool for subscribers only
04:46
Germany: Merkel announces extension of partial lockdown until January 10Germany: Merkel announces extension of partial lockdown until January 10
December 2, 2020 at 21:21 GMT +00:00
01:23
Sweden: Stockholm mother arrested on suspicion of holding son captive for nearly 30 yearsSweden: Stockholm mother arrested on suspicion of holding son captive for nearly 30 years
December 3, 2020 at 17:56 GMT +00:00
View all videos