Captain Cook’’s boomerang expected to fetch PS60k at Christies

August 21st, 2008 - 6:10 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Aug 21 (ANI): A boomerang collected by Captain James Cook on his first voyage to Australia could fetch up to 60,000pounds at an auction in London.

The explorer collected the strange, crooked stick in 1770 while surveying Australia, but he had no idea what it was for, or even what it was called.

He thought that it was a wooden sword; his botanist, Sir Joseph Banks, believed it to be a short scimitar.

Captain James Cook returned to England with the boomerang in 1771, and was still ignorant of its secrets when he was killed eight years later. He left it, and two wooden Aboriginal clubs also collected on the expedition, to his wife, Elizabeth, who in turn bequeathed them to her friend Joan Leach Bennett, in whose family they have remained.

Next month the previously unrecorded boomerang and the clubs will be auctioned at Christie’’s exploration and travel sale, reports Times Online.

The boomerang is expected to fetch up to 60,000 pounds and the clubs up to 30,000 pounds.

Aboriginal objects of this vintage are unusual, but the boomerang has extra value because it is thought to represent one of the first points of contact between Aborigines and Europeans.

Although Captain Cook wrote that the Aborigines were all arm”d with darts and wooden swords, there is no record of him seeing a boomerang in flight, or using the term.

The returning boomerangs that the Aborigines developed were probably used more for sport than serious hunting.

The auction takes place in London on September 25. (ANI)

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