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Voyage de la Pérouse

autour du Monde, publié conformément au décret du 22 Avril 1791, et rédigé par M. L.A. Milet-Mureau.

Stock Code 98498

Paris, Imprimerie de la République, An V, An V [1797].

Original price £20,000.00 - Original price £20,000.00
Original price £0.00
£20,000.00 - £20,000.00
Current price £20,000.00
The first scientific voyage to California, with royal provenance. The first edition of one of the most important scientific explorations ever undertaken to the Pacific and the northwest American coast, and the first scientific voyage to California. 'The voyage round the world under the command of La Pérouse was intended as the French equivalent of Captain Cook's Third Voyage and was enthusiastically endorsed by the Academy of Sciences and particularly by Louis XVI ... The most significant results of the voyage are the charts of the then imperfectly known Asiatic coast of the Pacific' (Forbes).

La Pérouse was the first explorer to navigate and chart the Japan sea and the strait between the island of Sakhalin and the northernmost island of Japan, which bears his name. At Kamchatka he received instructions to proceed to Australia to assess the extent of British plans. He arrived at Botany Bay in January 1788, just hours after Governor Phillip had arrived with the First Fleet. La Pérouse's habit of forwarding copies of journals and drawings when opportunity offered ensured their survival, for as is well known, the accomplishments of the voyage have been overshadowed by the disappearance of the entire expedition. The folio atlas contains magnificent maps of Russian Asia, Japan, the Pacific North-West Coast, Hawaii, San Francisco, and Monterey; the views include a fine series of botanical and ornithological plates, including the California quail. Of particular interest to Hawaii is the plate that depicts French ships off Makena, Maui. It is the first fully developed view of that island.

First edition. 4 text vols, 4to (30 x 23 cms) and folio atlas (58 x 45 cms), engraved portrait of La Pérouse after Tardieu, atlas with engraved allegorical title-page by Moreau le Jeune, titled Atlas du voyage de La Pérouse without imprint, and 69 engraved plates comprising folding world map, 35 views and natural history plates, 33 maps or coastal profiles (of which 20 double-page). Text volumes contemporary half-calf, marbled boards, chip to head of spine vol. I, light marginal water-staining vol. II and title-page vol. III, bound without half-titles, joints vol. I cracked but sound, lightly rubbed, some scraping to boards; atlas 19th-century red morocco-backed boards, neatly rebacked, royal cypher of Prince Philippe of Belgium to cover and spine, marginal repair to tear (circa 7 cms) to blank outer margin plate 15, not touching image, occasional light foxing at beginning and end, a very good set.

Prince Philippe of Belgium, Count of Flanders, son of Leopold I (monogram with crown to upper board and spine of atlas); Albert Rocking, Verviers (small blue stamp to atlas title); Frederick E. Ellis, Shaw Island (bookplate to text volumes).


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Voyage de la Pérouse

LA PÉROUSE, Jean-François de Galaup (Comte de).

Stock code: 98498



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