Top five Captain Cook stamps - thematics

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1-39035.jpg Canada Captain Cook stamp
Start a thematic which tells the story of explorer Captain James Cook, the ships in which he sailed and the countries he visited, with our guide to the top five stamps on the subject.

Start a thematic which tells the story of explorer Captain James Cook (1728-1779), the ships in which he sailed and the countries he visited, with our guide to the top five stamps on the subject.

The life, adventures and experiences of Captain James Cook lend themselves perfectly to a themed collection, showcasing stamps featuring ships, geography and wildlife, which together tell the story of one of the world’s greatest explorers. With more than 400 stamps on the subject, it can be difficult to know where to start. Get your collection started with our guide to five of the best stamps issued over the decades:

1. This 1978 Canada stamp features a portrait of Cook, studying one of his navigational charts. Several places around the globe are named after Captain Cook. The group of fifteen Cook Islands in the South Pacific are named after the explorer, who first visited in 1773 and returned four years later.

2. This 1935 Cook Island 1d shows a portrait of the explorer. Several places around the globe are named after Captain Cook. The group of fifteen Cook Islands in the South Pacific are named after the explorer, who first visited in 1773 and returned four years later. There is a 1932 Cook Islands error which is a red 1d value with Cook’s head inverted. He also appeared on the islands’ stamps in 1920 and 1949.

3. This 4c 1969 New Zealand stamp commemorates the bicentenary of Cook's Transit of Venus voyage. It was issued as part of a set of four.

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4. In 1969, Great Britain issued this Captain Cook stamp featuring Cook's signature. Captain James Cook was born on 27 October, 1728 in the village of Marton, to a Scottish farm labourer James Cook and his wife Grace, who was born at Thornaby on Tees. This stamp marked the 200th anniversary of Cook's Endeavour voyage.

5. In 1970, Australia marked the bi-centenary of Cook's discovery of Australia's east coast. This stamp is part of a set of six commemorating the anniversary. In 1772-75 Cook made a Royal Society voyage on HMS Resolution to search for the reputed Terra Australis landmass, which was believed to lie south of Australia. It was during this voyage that Cook took possession of South Georgia on behalf of Britain.

Article adapted from an in-depth feature in the December issue of Stamp & Coin Mart.