Globular punchbowl showing track of James Cook's first voyage on HMS Endeavour, probably commissioned by Joseph Banks1772, 1781

by Valentine Anscheutz

The punchbowl was commissioned by Joseph Banks prior to July 1772, in anticipation of his participation on Captain James Cook’s second expedition, which was to look for the Great Southern Continent. The world is turned upside down, with the newly charted area of the Pacific on the lid of the punchbowl. Whitchurch’s map of 1773 was used as the source for the engraving. The Greek god Atlas, usually carrying the weight of world on his shoulders, reclines at the top of the lid.

The globular punchbowl is supported by a tripod stand, with an inner ring to fit a spirit lamp or compass, hallmarked 1781. Banks possibly sold the punchbowl in 1778 to the Royal Society Club, a dining club of which he was a member.