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Captain James Cook (1728-1779), Nathaniel Dance, 1776.
This pocket square aims to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the Endeavour Voyage, first of Captain James Cook's three famous voyages to the Pacific in 1768. In the portrait, he holds his own chart of the Southern Ocean on the table and his right hand points to the east coast of Australia. His left thumb and finger lightly hold the other edge of the chart over his knee. His hat sits on the table behind him to the left on top of a substantial book, perhaps his journal, itself resting on the chart.
In 1772, Cook sailed for the second time to the fringes of the Antarctic and the Pacific, returning in 1775. He sat for this portrait, commissioned by Sir Joseph Banks, 'for a few hours before dinner' on 25 May 1776 but it is not known whether he did so again before he left London on 24 June for his third voyage, never to return.
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The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London, is the leading maritime museum in the UK and one of the largest museums of its kind in the world. The historic buildings form part of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site, and also incorporates the Royal Observatory and 17th-century Queen's House. In 2012, Her Majesty the Queen formally approved Royal Museums Greenwich as the new overall title for the National Maritime Museum, Queen’s House, the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, and the Cutty Sark.
Greenwich has long been associated with the sea and navigation. The home of Greenwich Mean Time and the Prime Meridian since 1884, it has also long been a centre for astronomical study, while navigators across the world have set clocks according to its time of day. The Museum has the most significant collection in the world on the history of Britain at sea comprising more than two million items, including maritime art (both British and 17th-century Dutch), cartography, manuscripts including official public records, ship models and plans, scientific and navigational instruments, and instruments for time-keeping and astronomy.
The first voyage of James Cook was a combined Royal Navy and Royal Society expedition to the south Pacific Ocean aboard HMS Endeavour, from 1768 to 1771. This was the first of three Pacific voyages of which Cook was the commander. Departing from Plymouth-Dock (Devonport) in August 1768, the expedition crossed the Atlantic, rounded Cape Horn and reached Tahiti in time to observe the transit of Venus. Cook then set sail into the largely uncharted ocean to the south, stopping at the Pacific islands of Huahine, Borabora and Raiatea to claim them for Great Britain, and unsuccessfully attempting to land at Rurutu.
In September 1769 the expedition reached New Zealand, being the second Europeans to visit there, following the first European discovery by Abel Tasman 127 years earlier. Cook and his crew spent the following six months charting the New Zealand coast, before resuming their voyage westward across open sea. In April 1770 they became the first Europeans to reach the east coast of Australia, making landfall at Point Hicks, and then proceeding to Botany Bay. The voyage lasted almost three years.
The art of hand rolling pocket squares is a unique craft and truly makes each piece individual and unique. We feel that the precision and care taken by our skilled artisans gives each scarf its own unique character, finish and feel. To create the finest rolled hems, the edge of the silk or cotton pocket square must be softy turned over with a handheld needle and then small stitches are inserted approximately one half to one centimetre apart around the edge, creating a supple yet prominent border.
It’s absolutely the best way to finish a pocket square for a variety of reasons but the key ones are for both visual effect and structure. Rolling by hand is the only way to get a really nice clean plump finish on the edge and this gives a really nice depth to the edges. It’s a more expensive process than machine rolling but by using a machine you’re often left with a flat edge and you don’t get the same luxurious feel. On top of this, the rolled edges add a lot more structure to your pocket square.
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The Death of Major Peirson, 6th January 1781, John Singleton Copley, 1783, © Tate, London 2014 On this pocket square we’ve used a large oil painting by American artist John Singleton Copley that depicts the death of...