Travel, Atlases, Maps and Natural History

Travel, Atlases, Maps and Natural History

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 263. Cook. Complete set of the voyages. 1773-1785. 10 volumes. The Morritt copy..

Cook. Complete set of the voyages. 1773-1785. 10 volumes. The Morritt copy.

Auction Closed

July 28, 03:29 PM GMT


30,000 - 40,000 GBP

Lot Details


Property of a Gentleman


Complete set of the voyages, comprising:

Hawkesworth, John. An Account of the Voyages by the order of his present Majesty for making discoveries in the Southern Hemisphere, and successively performed by Commodore Byron, Captain Wallis, Captain Carteret and Captain Cook, in the Dolphin, the Swallow, and the Endeavour. London: Printed for W. Strahan and T. Cadell, 1773, FIRST EDITION, 3 volumes, 4to (293 x 223mm.), 51 engraved plates, charts and maps (most folding or double-page), [Beddie, BCJC 648; Hill (2004) 782; Sabin 30934], without the 'Directions for placing the cuts and charts' and 'Chart of the Streight of Magellan'

Cook, James. A Voyage towards the South Pole, and round the world. London: Printed for W. Strahan and T. Cadell, 1777, FIRST EDITION, 3 volumes (2 text, one plate), 4to (287 x 224mm.), engraved portrait frontispiece of Cook by J. Basire after W. Hodges, 63 engraved plates, charts and maps (most folding or double-page), folding printed table, with 'List of the Plates' [Beddie, BCJC 1229; cf. Hill (2004) 358; Sabin 16245]

Cook, James and Captain James King. A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean ... for making Discoveries in the Northern Hemisphere. London: H. Hughs for G. Nicol and T. Cadell W. and A. Strahan, 1785, second edition, 4 volumes (3 text, one plate), 88 engraved plates, charts and maps, including the 'Death of Captain Cook' plate, folding letterpress table, with 'List of the Plates', [Beddie, BCJC 1552, 1543; cf. Hill (2004) 361; Sabin 16250], one quire in volume 2 inverted

together 3 works in 10 volumes, contemporary calf, spines gilt in compartments, red and green morocco spine labels, red sprinkled edges, a few marginal tears or repairs, slightly rubbed

THE MORRITT COPY. A FINE HANDSOME SET. 'Captain Cook's three great voyages form the basis for any collection of Pacific books. In three great voyages Cook did more to clarify the geographical knowledge of the southern hemisphere than all his predecessors together had done. He was the first really scientific navigator, and his voyages made great contributions to many fields of knowledge' (Hill).

The early owner of this set John Morritt (1771-1843) was a traveller, classical scholar and author. From 1794 he spent two years travelling, mainly in Greece and Asia Minor and was one of the founders and first members of the Travellers Club. Sir Walter Scott was a close friend of Morritt and described him as "a man unequalled in the mixture of sound good sense, high literary cultivation, and the kindest and sweetest temper that ever graced a human bosom." During a stay at Rokeby in 1812, which Scott described as one of the most enviable places he had ever seen, Scott wrote and dedicated the poem 'Rokeby' to Morritt "in token of sincere friendship." (DNB)


John Bacon Sawrey Morritt, Rokeby Park (1771-1843, armorial bookplate); by descent to R.A. Morritt, his sale in these rooms 13 February 1961, lot 22; Sotheby's 15 November 2001, lot 336; Christie's 26 September 2007, lot 10