A cameo medallion featuring a portrait of Captain James Cook (1728-1799). Captain Cook was a contemporary celebrity due to his explorative journeys into the Pacific and Oceania. Through Sir Joseph Banks, who had sailed with Captain Cook on his voyage of discovery to Australia and New Zealand, Wedgwood obtained clay from Sydney Cove. In 1788 a colony for convicts was being set up at Sydney Cove in Australia. Wedgwood made a medallion from the clay to commemorate the event.