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First edition of Labillardière's famous voyage in search of La Pérouse, with 44 plates, including 14 after Redouté

LABILLARDIÈRE, Jacques Julien Houton de.
Relation du voyage a la recherche de la Pérouse.
Including: Atlas pour servir à la Relation du voyage à la recherche de la Pérouse, ...
Paris, H.J. Jansen, An VIII [= 1799/1800]. 3 volumes. 4to (2 text volumes) and folio (atlas). Atlas with engraved title-page, large folding map (59 x 86.5 cm) and 43 full-page engraved plates (numbered 2-44), including 14 botanical plates drawn or completed by Pierre-Joseph Redouté. Modern mottled half calf. XVI, 442; 332, 113, [1] pp.
€ 12,500
First edition of Labillardière's famous and finely illustrated narrative, a classic work of travel literature. The mysterious disappearance of the great French explorer Jean François Galaup de La Pérouse, led to much speculation in France. On 9 February 1791 the Constituent Assembly passed a decree ordering, among other things, that the King be petitioned to order the fitting out of one or more ships equipped with naturalists, other scientists and draughtsman, with the two-fold mission of searching for De la Pérouse and of making inquiries relative to the sciences and to commerce. Two ships, under the command of Captain Kermadec, proceeded via the Cape of Good Hope to Tasmania, they made extensive investigations of its coastline. They also visited New Caledonia, the Solomon Islands, the Admiralty Islands, Tonga, New Britain and other groups, making extensive inquiries, but found no trace of the missing navigator (Ferguson). The voyage, however, yielded a vast amount of new and valuable information on Australia's natural history and the aboriginal people of Tasmania.
Each text volume with library stampse. Plates mounted on new stubs, a few plates slightly frayed along the edges, some mostly marginal foxing and occasionally other spots or smudges, more serious in the title-pages and half-titles. Otherwise in very good condition. 4to edition of Labillardière's celebrated voyage in search of La Pérouse, with plates after Redouté. Ferguson 307; Kroepelien 697; Nissen, ZBI 2331; Sabin 38420.
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