Captain James Cook's pistol makes 8.7% increase on estimate


2015-06-26 13:10:09


Captain James Cook's pistol makes 8.7% increase on estimate

An Australian auction house has sold Captain James Cook's pistol for a record $227,500

Captain James Cook (1728-1799) first reached Australian soil in 1770 and now, over 240 years later, an auction house on the continent has sold his flintlock pistol with outstanding results.

Captain Cook pistol auctionThe new world record holder for Captain Cook memorabilia

The 18th century Continental Flintlock Holster pistol sold for $227,368, firing past its $209,000 high estimate by 8.7%. The auction was held on February 14 - the 234th anniversary of his death on the island of Hawaii.

The pistol, made by Dutch gunmaker Godefroi Corbau Le Jeune, had remained in Cook's family until 2003, when former Melbourne lord mayor Ron Walkerbought it at an auction in Edinburgh, UKand returned to Australia.

Very few of Captain Cook's personal effects have survived the years and, despite demand, are rarely seen at auction. In 2011, a book of cloth samples, which he collected from some of his many voyages of discovery, sold for 134,641 ($208,000).

In the same year, a floral waistcoat thought to have been worn by the legendary explorer appeared at auction, but failed to sell due to uncertain provenance. Evidence suggests that this latest sale could be the auction record for his memorabilia.

Naval pioneers such as Captain Cook are extremely popular with collectorsremembering GreatBritain's glory days. The memorabilia of Lord Nelson, for example, almost always sees excellent results at auction, such as a letter from him to Lady Hamilton, which sold 150% above estimate in November 2012.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has perhaps the finest stock holding of Nelson memorabilia on the current market, including a remarkable, personally-owned snuffbox, which depicts the stunning Amalfi Coast and comes with a fascinating back-story.

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