Captain James Cook’s waistcoat to sell in Australia

A waistcoat worn by 18th century explorer Captain James Cook is selling at Aalders Auctions in Camperdown, Australia.

Cook wore it on his voyage to Australia in 1770.

It is embroidered with flowers and seeds he discovered on previous voyages to the south Pacific, including hibiscus and boronia.

Captain Cook waistcoat

The waistcoat is embroidered with flowers that Cook discovered on his Pacific voyages

The circumstances surrounding the design of the waistcoat (and how Cook came by it) are unknown. However, the embroidery suggests it was either a gift or a personal commission.

Aalders has valued it at up to $1.1m, although as auctioneer Julian Aalders puts it: "It's such a rare item it is very difficult to get a valuation.

“It is an auction and you never really know the price until the day."

Cook returned from Australia in 1771, after claiming the eastern side of the country for the UK. 

In 1779 he travelled to Hawaii, where he died at the hands of angry locals.

This waistcoat remained with his family in London until 1835, when they sold it to a dealer. It was acquired by an Australian buyer a few years later and has remained in the country since.

The sale will take place on March 25.

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