Blog post from Friday, 27 June, 2014

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

This ditty box, made by a sailor on the HMS Resolution after Cook’s death in 1779, was given to his widow Elizabeth Cook. It was given by her to John Carpenter and remained in his family, later being sold to Sir William Dixson by Thomas Hart. The box then became part of Sir William’s bequest to the State Library of New South Wales.

The box is made of oak from the HMS Resolution. It contains a lock of hair, and a painting depicting Cook’s death.