Whilst many medals have been struck to commemorate Captain Cook, his voyages and his exploits, none are more prized by collectors and museums than his "Resolution and Adventure" medal.
Struck in 1772 and distributed during the second and third voyages throughout the islands of the Pacific Ocean, these medals are now exceedingly rare. The Resolution and the Adventure appear on one side of the medal, with the head of George III on the other.
2000 were struck in base metal (copper and brass) and just over 100 in silver. The silver medals did not accompany Cook on his voyages, but appear to have been distributed in England. Two were struck in 24 carat gold.
Most of the few surviving base metal medals show significant signs of wear or corrosion, and several are now in the possession of museums. Very few specimens remain in private hands.
Whilst there has been some documentation of known specimens published internationally, as yet there is no up-to-date record of the known surviving specimens.
A prominent numismatist, Mr Peter Lane, of Adelaide, South Australia, possesses a superb example of this medal. It is a specimen left at Bruny Island, Tasmania.
Peter Lane is President of the Numismatic Society of South Australia and is a Council Member of the Numismatic Association of Australia. He is now undertaking a study of all known specimens of the medal, wherever they can be located.
Peter plans to produce a publication which should be of great interest to many people.
Anybody possessing such a medal, or any relevant information, should write in or email the Captain Cook Study Unit.
Originally published in Cook's Log, page 966, volume 16, number 4 (1993).