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Banks collection - history of acquisition

 
In 1887, the same year that he purchased the Cook Collection, the Agent General for New South Wales Government, Sir Saul Samuel, purchased a collection of "supposed Cook Relics" in London. The documentation from the period refers to this collection as "supposed Cook Relics", because the artifacts were said to have been collected by Captain James Cook on the voyage of the Endeavour and given by him to Sir Joseph Banks for his museum. While some artifacts are very similar to other Cook Voyage specimens in collections around the world, the style of others does not seem to fit with the first voyage or even an 18th century provenance. More research is required to sort out these contradictions.

According to John Calvert, who sold the collection to the New South Wales Government, the items were given by Banks to his Secretary Robert Brown when the latter purchased Banks' Museum at 32 Soho Square.(date unknown) Brown showed them to Calvert in 1839 when the latter gave him some botanical specimens. They were at some stage forgotten and the door papered over. In 1858 Calvert in turn purchased the building. Brown was living as Calvert's tenant at the back of the building where the cupboard was located (17 Dean Street) and on Brown's death in 1859 Calvert discovered the collection and acquired it from the executor Mr Bennett in lieu of costs for repairs to the building. [John Calvert letter to the Standard, 27Sep1887, and letters13-43/A3934/1885,see file]

In September 1885 Thomas Toon sold Saul Samuel a compass H496 and 'grog bottle' H494 that were supposedly used on the Endeavour, given by Cook to Banks and stored with the rest of this collection but kept by Brown's executor Bennett back in 1859. (Toon had acquired them off a third party in the meantime). In 1885 Toon told Sir Saul Samuel about Calvert's collection.[Toon's letter to the Times, 4 Oct 1887]

Sir Samuel visited Calvert in 1887 and purchased the collection. "It is a fact that Sir Saul Samuel has only just brought them to the front, having been buried in my Museum ever since." [Calvert, 22 Sep 1887 letter to the Times]. The New South Wales Government later transferred the collection to the Australian Museum , sometime before 1894, as they were already present when the "Cook Collection" was transferred [ref A.M. Annual Reports 1894,1895] [The government office letters referring to the collection were not sent to the museum until 1901, see file L175 -194/A3936.]

The following words of Banks are quoted by Calvert in his letter to the Standard, 27 Sept 1887, but no date or reference is given:-
"The hardships and peril of the expedition have grown in me a lasting attachment for anything connected with the voyage. So my old friend, in his most courteous manner, presented me with a long box, made on board, by the carpenter, of wood obtained during the voyage, filled with carved paddles, stone tomahawks, and other strange savage things. Outside the box some of the long paddles and spears were spoilt by being cut to suit the stowage. He must have anticipated very rough work when he invented his rum bottle of thick glass cased over with iron, which I also have." '

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(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000245 - 26/2/1895, paddle, Manuae Island, , , Cook Islands, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000246 - 26/2/1895, paddle, Manuae Island, , , Cook Islands, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000251 - 26/2/1895, club, , , , New Zealand - Aotearoa, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000252 - 26/2/1895, club, , , , New Zealand - Aotearoa, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000253 - 26/2/1895, bow, , , , , Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000254 - 26/2/1895, arrow, , Santa Cruz Islands, Temotu Province, Solomon Islands, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000255 - 26/2/1895, arrow, , Santa Cruz Islands, Temotu Province, Solomon Islands, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000256 - 26/2/1895, arrow, , Santa Cruz Islands, Temotu Province, Solomon Islands, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000257 - 26/2/1895, arrow, , Santa Cruz Islands, Temotu Province, Solomon Islands, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000258 - 26/2/1895, arrow, , Santa Cruz Islands, Temotu Province, Solomon Islands, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000259 - 26/2/1895, arrow, , Santa Cruz Islands, Temotu Province, Solomon Islands, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000260 - 26/2/1895, arrow, , Santa Cruz Islands, Temotu Province, Solomon Islands, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000261 - 26/2/1895, arrow, , Santa Cruz Islands, Temotu Province, Solomon Islands, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000262 - 26/2/1895, arrow, , Santa Cruz Islands, Temotu Province, Solomon Islands, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000263 - 26/2/1895, arrow, , Santa Cruz Islands, Temotu Province, Solomon Islands, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000264 - 26/2/1895, arrow, , Santa Cruz Islands, Temotu Province, Solomon Islands, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000265 - 26/2/1895, arrow, , , , , Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000266 - 26/2/1895, bow, , , , New Zealand - Aotearoa, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000267 - 26/2/1895, arrow, , Santa Cruz Islands, Temotu Province, Solomon Islands, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000268 - 26/2/1895, arrow, , Santa Cruz Islands, Temotu Province, Solomon Islands, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000269 - 26/2/1895, arrow, , Santa Cruz Islands, Temotu Province, Solomon Islands, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000270 - 26/2/1895, arrow, , Santa Cruz Islands, Temotu Province, Solomon Islands, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000271 - 26/2/1895, arrow, , Santa Cruz Islands, Temotu Province, Solomon Islands, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000272 - 26/2/1895, arrow, , Santa Cruz Islands, Temotu Province, Solomon Islands, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000273 - 26/2/1895, arrow, , Santa Cruz Islands, Temotu Province, Solomon Islands, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000274 - 26/2/1895, arrow, , Santa Cruz Islands, Temotu Province, Solomon Islands, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000275 - 26/2/1895, arrow, , Santa Cruz Islands, Temotu Province, Solomon Islands, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000276 - 26/2/1895, arrow, , Santa Cruz Islands, Temotu Province, Solomon Islands, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000277 - 26/2/1895, arrow, , Santa Cruz Islands, Temotu Province, Solomon Islands, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000278 - 26/2/1895, arrow, , Santa Cruz Islands, Temotu Province, Solomon Islands, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000279 - 26/2/1895, shield, , , general, Solomon Islands, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000280 - 26/2/1895, spear, , , , Federated States of Micronesia, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000281 - 26/2/1895, spear, , , , Federated States of Micronesia, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000282 - 26/2/1895, spear, , , , Federated States of Micronesia, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000291 - 28/2/1895, club, , , , , Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000292 - 28/2/1895, club, , , , Vanuatu, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000294 - 28/2/1895, club, , , , Australia, Australia

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000295 - 28/2/1895, club, , , , Vanuatu, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000296 - 28/2/1895, club, , , general, Solomon Islands, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000298 - 28/2/1895, club, , , Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000299 - 2/3/1895, paddle, , , , Solomon Islands, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000300 - 2/3/1895, paddle, , , , New Zealand - Aotearoa, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000301 - 2/3/1895, paddle, , , , New Zealand - Aotearoa, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000302 - 2/3/1895, paddle, , , , New Zealand - Aotearoa, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000303 - 2/3/1895, paddle, , , Austral Islands, French Polynesia, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000304 - 2/3/1895, paddle, , , Austral Islands, French Polynesia, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000305 - 2/3/1895, paddle, , , Austral Islands, French Polynesia, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000306 - 26/2/1895, bow, , , British Columbia, Canada, America, North

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000307 - 26/2/1895, bow, , , , ,

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000308 - 26/2/1895, canoe, , , , New Zealand - Aotearoa, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000309 - 2/3/1895, adze handle, , , , Cook Islands, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000310 - 2/3/1895, paddle, , , Austral Islands, French Polynesia, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000311 - 26/2/1895, canoe model, , , , Cook Islands, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000312 - 26/2/1895, bowl, , Manihiki, , Cook Islands, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000313 - 2/3/1895, boomerang, , , , Australia, Australia

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000314 - 2/3/1895, boomerang, , , , Australia, Australia

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000315 - 2/3/1895, adze, , , , French Polynesia, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000316 - 2/3/1895, adze, , , , French Polynesia, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000317 - 2/3/1895, club, , , , New Zealand - Aotearoa, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000318 - 2/3/1895, club, , , , New Zealand - Aotearoa, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000319 - 2/3/1895, club, , , , New Zealand - Aotearoa, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000320 - 2/3/1895, adze, , , , French Polynesia, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000323 - 2/3/1895, canoe ornament, , New Georgia Islands, Western Province, Solomon Islands, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000324 - 2/3/1895, pot, , , , Peru, America, South

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000325 - 2/3/1895, basket, , , , ,

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000326 - 2/3/1895, fish hook, , , , New Zealand - Aotearoa, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000327 - 5/3/1895, fish hook, , , Society Islands, French Polynesia, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000328 - 5/3/1895, fish hook, , , Society Islands, French Polynesia, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000329 - 5/3/1895, fish hook, , , Society Islands, French Polynesia, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000330 - 5/3/1895, fish hook, , Tahiti, Society Islands, French Polynesia, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000331 - 5/3/1895, fish hook, , , British Columbia, Canada, America, North

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000332 - 5/3/1895, ear ornament, , , , New Zealand - Aotearoa, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000333 - 5/3/1895, ear ornament, , , , New Zealand - Aotearoa, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000334 - 5/3/1895, ear ornament, , , , New Zealand - Aotearoa, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000335 - 5/3/1895, adze head, , , , New Zealand - Aotearoa, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000336 - 5/3/1895, arm ornament, , , , Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000337 - 5/3/1895, arm ornament, , , , Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000338 - 5/3/1895, forehead ornament, , , Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000339 - 5/3/1895, forehead ornament, , , Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000340 - 5/3/1895, ornament, , , , Tonga, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000341 - 5/3/1895, axe head, , , British Columbia, Canada, America, North

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000342 - 5/3/1895, shell sample, , , , Papua New Guinea, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000343 - 5/3/1895, shell sample, , , , Papua New Guinea, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000344 - 5/3/1895, shell sample, , , , Papua New Guinea, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000345 - 5/3/1895, shell sample, , , , Papua New Guinea, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000346 - 5/3/1895, shell sample, , , , Papua New Guinea, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000347 - 5/3/1895, shell sample, , , , Papua New Guinea, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000348 - 5/3/1895, shell sample, , , , Papua New Guinea, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000349 - 5/3/1895, axe head, , , , , Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000350 - 5/3/1895, breast ornament, , , , , Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000356 - 5/3/1895, adze head, , , , New Zealand - Aotearoa, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000357 - 5/3/1895, club head, , , , , Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000358 - 5/3/1895, sword, , , , Tuvalu, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000359 - 5/3/1895, sword, , , , Tuvalu, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000360 - 5/3/1895, sword, , , , Tuvalu, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000361 - 5/3/1895, sword, , , , Tuvalu, Pacific

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

H000362 - 5/3/1895, sword, , , , Tuvalu, Pacific