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Complete Set Of Cook’s Voyages In First Editions To Sell At Auction

A Complete Set of the Three Official Publications of Cook’s Voyages in First Editions, published between 1773 and 1784. Price estimate $50,000 - $80,000

“James Cook’s Pacific voyages were deeply significant to the history of New Zealand, the Cook Islands, Australia and the broader Pacific. First editions of the documentation of his three Pacific voyages are very rare and highly sought after by collectors in New Zealand and internationally. This complete set is in remarkably good condition, the likes of which has not come to market for many years.” Ben Erren, Head of Decorative Arts.

  • Webb’s is holding an auction of Material Culture this week.
  • The sale includes a complete set of Cook’s Voyages in first editions.
  • These books are in exceptional condition.
  • Cook’s Voyages is expected to sell for more than $50,000.
  • The auction also includes objects from diverse regions of the world, including Aotearoa.
  • A significant selection of artefacts from the Lim-Strutt Family Collection.
  • The auction will take place on Wednesday 2 February at 6.30pm at Webb’s.

A complete set of Cook’s Voyages in first editions will be auctioned at Webb’s on Wednesday 2 February. The set is in remarkable condition, with all books in their original bindings – an extremely rare quality, as the publications are more than two centuries old. The First Voyage was published in 1773, the Second Voyage in 1777, and the Third Voyage in 1784. The vendor of this set purchased the books from distinguished London auction house, Bonham’s.

A set of this quality has not come on to the market for many years. Often, bindings are damaged or sets are cobbled together from more than one incomplete set. Though even in such cases, the books remain very rare and highly valuable. Conversely, this set is a collector’s dream, with all books from the original set in fine condition. Webb’s expect Cook’s Voyages to sell for more than $50,000.

“These books are from a private New Zealand collection, though they were acquired from Bonham’s in London – a distinguished auction house. A complete set of first editions in original bindings like this is incredibly rare. We have already registered strong buyer interest from within the country and internationally.” Ben Erren, Head of Decorative Arts.

The auction also features an array of exquisite objects from diverse regions of the world, including Tanzania, Congo, Papua New Guinea, and Aotearoa. A significant portion of the items in the auction are from the Lim-Strutt Family Collection. This Hamilton-based family has assembled a collection over decades, and it contains a remarkable array of ethnographic artefacts. While it includes material culture from many regions of the world, the collection is particularly focussed on African objects. It first started over 30 years ago, when economist Steven Lim received a sculptural object from his brother, who was travelling in Africa at the time. The gift struck a chord, and Lim was smitten. A few months later, he travelled to New York City to learn more. New York was the major Western centre for African art, its dealers and connoisseurs the most knowledgeable outside of Africa. The collection grew from there, and over time it became a family pursuit. Lim’s partner Anna Strutt and their children Serena and Juliet Lim-Strutt all took an interest and engaged in the collecting process.

“The Lim-Strutt family has built an extraordinary collection, which Webb’s is honoured to bring to auction. We are sure that collectors will find this selection fascinating and enticing.” Ben Erren, Head of Decorative Arts.

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