Rare Books

Captain James Cook - A set of the Accounts of the Voyages. London 1773 – 1784. 8 volumes, 2 folios of cuts and plates and with Andrew Kippis -The Life of Captain James Cook. London 1788.

Tuesday 3 December 2024

Rare Books

6:00PM 3 Abbey Street, Newton, Auckland

Art+Object’s final Rare Book auction of 2024 will take place in early December and is shaping up to be a large catalogue that includes many scarce and important items.

Of major significance is a first edition of the exceedingly rare pamphlet by David Samwell ‘A Narrative of the Death of Captain James Cook’. [London: G.G.J and J Robinson, 1786]. In his introduction to the 1957 reprint, the distinguished Cook bibliographer Holmes, described the pamphlet as 'the fullest, most detailed and most objective' account of Cook's death.

We are also privileged to be offering books from the library of the Birch family of Pātea. The library has come by descent to Lucinda Birch, the great-granddaughter of Azim Salvator Birch [1837-1923]. In the 1860s Azim and his brother William became the first European settlers to farm the land in Pātea. The collection includes a complete set of the Voyages of Captain James Cook, eight volumes with two folios of the plates, and cuts with a first edition of the ‘Life of Captain James Cook’ by Andrew Kippis (London, 1788). Also included is Sydney Parkinson’s ‘A Journal of a Voyage to the South Seas in His Majesty’s Ship The Endeavour’ (London, Charles Dilly, 1784).

Other major items include: a superb first edition of George French Angas’ ‘The New Zealanders’ (London, 1847); Sydney Parkinson’s 'A Journal of a Voyage to the South Seas in His Majesty’s Ship, The Endeavour’ (London, 1773); Edward Jerningham Wakefield’s folio ‘Illustrations to Adventure in New Zealand’, with the text volumes ‘Adventure in New Zealand’ (London, 1845), uniformly bound in half leather; Three New Zealand fern albums in carved kauri boards; a large collection of books relating to the Hawaiian Rebellions and the early missions.

Banks, Joseph - Banks Florilegium - New Zealand Section Parts XX - XXVII, 1st ed. Alecto Historical Editions in Association with the British Museum [Natural History] 1980-1990. In original 8 dark green solander boxes.

Brees, Samuel Charles - Pictorial Illustrations of New Zealand. Fine hand-coloured plates in clean and original condition. This rare coloured example of the 1847 edition appears to be the earliest recorded of possibly only six surviving variant copies.

Historical art includes ‘Melanesian Mission College, Kohimaramara, June 1860’ by John Kinder, and a rare watercolour ‘Jane Grey, Auckland’ by Commander Richard A. Oliver.

Further Information


    Pam Plumbly
    Rare Book Consultant