English knife, 18th century. Believed to have belonged to Captain James Cook.
Purchased, together with a fork ST 021276, by the National Gallery of Victoria on 24 October 1906 from Mrs A.H. Mitten, granddaughter of Captain John Smith R.N. Transferred to Museum Victoria in 1940.
In a letter dated 3 October 1906 Mrs Mitten wrote that 'The last post Captain John Smith R.N. his wife and Mrs. Cook were all three first cousins. At her death Mrs Cook left 1,000 pounds each to my father and his brothers and sisters. To their mother, household furniture, charts, nautical instruments, native weapons and many other possessions as her late husband's.' She further stated that the knife and fork were brought out from England about 1895-96 by her father's youngest sister, who lived with them until her death in August 1905.
A further five items of matching cutlery were presented to Museum Victoria by the Fenton family in 1977 (ST 29822), also believed to have belonged to Captain Cook. Mrs Mitten's sister, who apparently also received cutlery, married J.J. Fenton.
Steel table knife with black wooden handle (ebony?), scimitar-shaped blade and silver trim.
Purchase & Subsequent Transfer from National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), 24 Oct 1906
Type of item
29.5 cm (Length), 2.5 cm (Width), 2 cm (Height)