London: 1784. Limited edition. A rare historic tribute medal in commemoration of Captain James Cook, commissioned by the fellow members of the Royal Society. James Cook twice circumnavigated the globe (1768- 1771 & 1772 - 1775), and was then elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. He discovered & charted the east coast of Australia; discovered the Hawaiian Islands; circumnavigated and charted New Zealand; surveyed coastline in Alaska; was the first to cross the Antarctic Circle. Cook performed a great deal of the scientific work on his voyages with the support of the Society. Word of Cook's death in Hawaii in 1779 reached the Society in 1780; the medal was then commissioned and completed in 1784. Engraved by Lewis Pingo (1743-1830) of the Royal Mint in London.
The portrait of Cook shows him in full Naval uniform in profile with the legend "IAC COOK OCEANI INVESTIGATOR ACERRIMUS" (the most intrepid explorer of the seas), while the reverse has an emblematical figure of Britannia and the legend "NIL INTENTATUM NOSTRI LIQUERE" (our men have left nothing unattempted). Only 20 medals were struck in gold; 289 were struck in silver, and 577 in bronze. This medal a little rubbed at highlights, including Cook's nose, brow and hair line, o/w very good. 1 3/4" in diameter. Beddie 2795. Item #16073