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Captain Cook waistcoat fails to sell at auction

Monday, March 27, 2017 - 01:21

A waistcoat owned by the British explorer Captain James Cook credited with discovering Australia fails to sell at a Sydney auction. Roselle Chen reports.

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A waistcoat owned by British explorer Captain James Cook, who claimed Australia for Britain in 1770, has failed to sell at auction, with bids far below its anticipated million dollar price tag. The 250-year-old waistcoat was passed in at A$575,000 ($438,035.00) at Sunday's auction in Sydney, after being valued at between A$800,000 to A$1.1 million. Julian Aalders is director and auctioneer at Aalders Auctions. SOUNDBITE: Julian Aalders, director and auctioneer at Aalders Auctions, saying (English): "This is a once in a lifetime find, I believe. There have been a few Captain Cook items come up but probably nothing as significant as this waistcoat." The auctioneer said Cook's family kept the waistcoat in the U.K. after the explorer's death from a knife wound in Hawaii in 1779. In 1912 a British industrialist bought the waistcoat from an antique dealer and gave it to a prominent Sydney pianist, Ruby Rich, who had the garment altered to fit a woman. Unfortunately, Rich wore the garment to many social gatherings and spilled wine on it, according to Aalders. The auctioneer didn't disclose the identity of the seller, a private collector, who bought the garment from Rich's family in Sydney in 1981.

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Captain Cook waistcoat fails to sell at auction

Monday, March 27, 2017 - 01:21