Friday 19 April 2013

Mapping South - Vivien Caughley

It is always a delight to enjoy the fruits of Vivien's researches in New Zealand. She has recently written a most fascinating article on The Cook Map Sampler which you can read in full by clicking here. (The article commences on page 126 of the journal.) Vivien tells us: This work is an embroidered map sampler of the western hemisphere now in the collection of the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney and has long been attributed to Elizabeth Cook, the Captain’s widow, even though her name as its stitcher appears nowhere on the cloth. Elizabeth Cook’s reputation as an embroiderer is well-established. Two unfinished embroidered waistcoat fronts in the collection of Sydney’s Mitchell Library, on Pacific tapa cloth which her husband reputedly sourced on his second voyage, have also long been attributed to her hand despite the similar absence of a stitched signature. Vivien next leads us on a fabulous voyage of discovery, analyzing the names given to places on the map to try to solve the puzzle of attribution. This is a must read article for all who love the secrets stitched within these precious cloth documents.


  1. Thank you for the link to this article. I found it informative and moving.

  2. My thanks, too. It was an interesting article and I'll try and get to the Museum to see if I can see the original.