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  • Title
    Carved ditty box shaped like a coffin on silver stand, containing a rough watercolour sketch of the death of Cook, including a lock of Cook's hair, ca. 1779 / carved by sailors on Cook's last ship HMS Resolution
  • Call number
    SAFE/DR 2
  • Level of description
  • Date

    ca. 1779
  • Type of material
  • Reference code
  • Issue Copy
  • Physical Description
    Objects - 1 carved wooden ditty box, coffin-shaped, with swivel lid inlaid with mother-of-pearl shell. 2 silver plaques adorn the top of the lid, and a third plaque is on the base of the box. Inside the box, under glass, is a lock of Cook's hair and a rough watercolour sketch, depicting Cook's death. The ditty box sits on a silver stand and is enclosed in a glass box, silver mounted. A sliding compartment in the bottom of the case contains documents - 9 x 7 cm. (ditty box); 7 x 23 x 15 cm. (glass box)
  • Source
    This item has been digitised as part of the Nelson Meers Foundation Benefaction, 2002
  • Access Conditions

    Access to this pictures collection via appointment only. Please submit your request through Ask a Librarian
  • Copying Conditions
    Out of copyright:
    Please acknowledge: : Dixson Library, State Library of New South Wales
  • General note

    Sliding compartment in the bottom of the case contains a description by Thomas Hart of how the box was made, and a statutory declaration signed by C. Albert Maggs, dated 19.8.12 stating that Thomas Hart was a relative of Mrs Cook. There is also a roneoed sheet which says that Lono was the name of one of the four principal gods of Hawaii
    The box was given by Mrs Cook to a relation, Mr John Carpenter, in 1806, and it then came into the possession of a descendant, Mr Thomas Hart, from whom it was purchased by Sir William Dixson.

    Newspaper article by H.N.K. about the ditty box held at SPF/Cook - Relics
    Digital order no:Album ID : 823904
  • Signatures / Inscriptions

    "Quebec Newfoundland Greenwich Australis" -- engraved on first silver plate
    "Lono and the Seaman's Idol" -- engraved on second silver plate
    "Captain James Cook slain at Owhyhee, 14 February, 1779" -- engraved on third silver plate inset on the base of the box
    "Made of Resolution oak for Mrs Cook by crew" -- carved around sides of the box
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