A BOOMERANG collected by Captain James Cook on his expedition to Australia is being put up for sale in London next month and is expected to fetch up to £60,000.
The boomerang, along with two wooden clubs that belonged to Aborigines Cook met in 1770, are believed to represent one of the first points of contact between Aborigines and Europeans.
Captain Cook had little idea what a boomerang was (he believed it was a wooden weapon) when he returned to England and left it to his wife, Elizabeth. She gave the boomerang and clubs to the executor of her will, John Leach Bennett. They have since remained in the Bennett family, which has now decided to sell them.
Christie's auctioneers believe the boomerang, which measures just under 56 centimeters in length and has no markings on it, will be highly sought after by international collectors when it goes on sale on September 25.
So far only six other Aboriginal artifacts — three fish spears, a lance or javelin, a spear shaft and a shield — have been traced to Cook's first visit to Australian soil.