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La Pérouse: Charts and plates to La Pérouse's voyage. 1798
La Pérouse: Charts and plates to La Pérouse's voyage. 1798
La Pérouse: Charts and plates to La Pérouse's voyage. 1798
La Pérouse: Charts and plates to La Pérouse's voyage. 1798
La Pérouse: Charts and plates to La Pérouse's voyage. 1798
La Pérouse: Charts and plates to La Pérouse's voyage. 1798
La Pérouse: Charts and plates to La Pérouse's voyage. 1798
La Pérouse: Charts and plates to La Pérouse's voyage. 1798

La Pérouse, Jean François de Galaup, Comte de

Charts and plates to La Pérouse’s voyage.

G.G. & J. Robinson, London, 1798, [1799]

CHF 4400.–

Atlas to the English edition of the report of the famous voyage around the world by La Pérouse, who – in addition to Bougainville and Cook – contributed decisively to the exploration of the Pacific region (especially Alaska, Kamchatka and Australia). Without the two text volumes.

Description: Contemporary quarter calf with marbled paper boards. Flat spine lettered and decorated in gilt. Quarto: 44 × 28.5 cm; unpag., 1 engr. frontispiece, 1 engr. title page and 67 full-page copper-engraved plates, thereof are: 37 plates and 30 maps (20 fold-outs).

Ref.: Boucher i, p. 149–54; Cox i, 67; Sabin 3896

Condition: Binding a bit scuffed and with a few surface abrasions at edges. Light waterstains to the gutter of first few leaves. Contents occasionally somewhat soiled (more noticeable in the first few leaves), slight tanning at edges. Three small brown spots on plate 29, visible between plates 27–37. Lacking plates #1 (map of the world) and #36 (male and female Partridge of California). Some offsetting from plates. Despite the occasional minor blemish, a good copy.

Notes: La Pérouse (1741–1788[?]) a French naval officer and explorer was in 1785 appointed to lead a scientific expedition to explore the Pacific. His ships stopped in Chile, Hawaii, Alaska, California, Mauritius, Reunion, Macau, Japan, Russia, and Australia. However, his journey ended tragically. In January 1788 he reached Botany Bay. From there he sent his last notes to France before sailing on towards Tonga in March. After no more reports arrived in France for a long period of time, a first search expedition was launched in 1791. However, it remained unsuccessful. It was not until 1826 that Peter Dillon, an Irish sea captain, was able to prove the island of Vanikoro as the place of the accident, on whose reef the ships of the expedition met a tragic end. “If La Pérouse had been able to complete his enterprise, the knowledge of the Pacific-Australian region would have been epochally enriched. But what he achieved was already one of the great geographical achievements” (Dietmar Henze).

A first English edition appeared in London in 1798 for John Stockdale (2 vols. 8vo). Two other translations, were issued in 1798 and 1799 by two different publishers. J. Johnson, whose first appeared in 1798 and J. Robinson, whose first appeared in 1799. On the English editions, Cox writes: “On the unexpected publication of this famous voyage at Paris in the previous year (1797), there was considerable competition among English publishers to bring out the English translation. Three different translations were made and published during 1798–99, and different engravers were employed for making the plates. Stockdale’s appeared first, in June 1798. Robinson’s edition of 1799 is the most esteemed edition in English, later editions being usually based on it.” The atlas bears the date 1798 in the imprint, but was published together with the two text volumes in 1799.

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