[In Russian: The Cook Collection in the St. Petersburg Kunstkammer]. Dr. Ludmila A. IVANOVA.

[In Russian: The Cook Collection in the St. Petersburg Kunstkammer].

Moscow: Nauka, 2005.

Quarto, 293 x 213 mm., 308 pp.; extensively illustrated with 104 black-and-white illustrations and 32 colour illustrations on eight colour plates; original boards decorated with tapa cloth motifs; in fine condition.

Cook ethnography in Russia

An important modern book that up until now has been extremely difficult to acquire outside Russia. This gives a detailed description of the extraordinary collection of Cook voyage ethnographic objects and prints in St Petersburg's magnificent Kunstkammer, one of the oldest such museums and the creation of Peter the Great now properly known as the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography.

An important modern book that up until now has been extremely difficult to acquire outside Russia. This gives a detailed description of the extraordinary collection of Cook voyage ethnographic objects and prints in St Petersburg's magnificent Kunstkammer, one of the oldest such museums and the creation of Peter the Great now properly known as the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography.

In May 1779 a substantial collection of ethnographic objects was presented by the personnel of Cook's third voyage to Magnus Karl von Behm, then in charge of the settlement at Kamchatka, in gratitude for the welcome and provisioning given to the ships of the expedition when they arrived there shortly after Cook's death. A year later, by order of Empress Catherine, the collection was transferred to the Kunstkammer, where it remains today. It includes numerous pieces from Hawaii, Tonga and Tahiti, including magnificent featherware (capes, hats, men's neck ornaments), wooden objects (weapons with shark teeth, fish-hook and dagger clapper, dance wand) woven wares and other objects such as a bracelet of boar's tusks, as well as stone implements.

Ivanova gives a detailed analysis of these items, their origin and purpose. She also examines the full range of materials related to the collection - literature, manuscript and printed documents, visual and ethnographic exhibits. A separate chapter is devoted to the history of such collections in Russia, and to the Kunstkammer itself. An extensive bibliography lists archival sources, and provides indexes of names and geographical names, with a brief summary in English. The work also contains archival documents devoted to the history of the collection, and the biography of Carl Magnus von Behm taken from a rare Siberian publication of 1823.

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Ivanova also describes a re-discovered series of engravings prepared after drawings by William Hodges to illustrate the official account of Cook's second voyage. Proof impressions of these were also presented to Behm in May 1779, but subsequently lost in the bowels of the museum.

Ludmila Ivanova is a Senior Fellow of the Centre of Asian and Pacific Studies at the Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and is associated with the Miklouho-Maclay Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, and the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkammer).

Please note the text is in Russian. Our thanks to Dr Alisa Semina for her assistance in cataloguing this publication.

Price (AUD): $145.00

US$106.36   Other currencies

Ref: #4004777