Bird-headed Club

Contributed by The Hunterian

Adrienne Kaeppler, the international Cook expert who visited the museum in 1978, has confirmed that this club is an object from the voyages of Captain Cook, most probably the second voyage of 1774 during which he explored New Caledonia.

Kaeppler suggests a set of four clubs were presented to Dr. Hunter by Johan and George Forster, the German father and son naturalist team who replaced Sir Joseph Banks just before sailing. Johan R. Forster, a Fellow of the Royal Society, filled the post of the ship's natural historian, while his son George, just 17, acted as his assistant and artist. The ships, HMS Resolution and HMS Adventure, set sail in 1772 on an immensely historically important exhibition, the first to cross the Antarctic Circle and sail so far south The club is also is also thought to have been part of the Old Hunterian collection and may be one of the clubs listed under 'B' of Captain John Laskey's 1813 account of the museum collection.

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