Paris, Bertrand, 1826-1827.
The copy comprises all the set of Atlases (only) of this Voyage, which form four elephant folios :
-Historique : folio atlas containing 60 coloured plates in their 15 original issues.
–Zoologie : folio atlas containing 157 coloured plates in their 27 original issues.
–Botanique : folio atlas containing 106 plates (25 in colour) in their 15 original issues.
–Hydrographie : folio atlas containing 55 maps and charts in original pastepaper boards.
In total, 57 parts preserved as issued in wrappers, and 1 volume preserved in its original pastepaper boards.
Histoire du Voyage, Zoologie, Botanique, and Hydrographie in original pastepaper boards as issued, the other three atlases in the original wrappers, all-in fine condition, the complete set of atlases preserved in four uniform quarter morocco bookform folding cases.
565 x 375 mm.
This is a precious and very rare complete set of the atlases to this outstanding work, edited in parts from 1825 to 1835, publication of which was never completed.
Borba de Moreas, pp.275-76; Ferguson, 1069; Hill, 517; Hocken, 42; Sabin, 21353.
Duperrey’s expedition set out from Toulon on 11 August 1822, returning in 1825. It was primarily tasked by the French government to collect scientific information but also to report on the possibility of establishing a penal colony in western Australia. More broadly, while the purpose of the expedition was scientific, there was the secret object of prospecting where France might carve out an empire in the South Pacific to match her vastly more successful British rivals.
In the course of the voyage the expedition visited Brazil and Cape Horn on its way into the Pacific with further stops at Chile and Peru. In the Pacific, Duperrey discovered the Gilbert and Caroline island groups, and corrected errors in earlier charts of the Society Islands, and visited the Gilbert Islands, the Tuamotu Archipelago, Tahiti, Tonga, and Rotuma. More substantial exploratory visits were made to Australia, New Guinea, and New Zealand, where they visited the Maoris. The expedition made a significant contribution to Pacific cartography.
The maps provide a detailed and careful record of numerous islands and groups of islands in the South Pacific not previously charted, making the Atlas Hydrographie one of the most outstanding cartographic works for the South Pacific, while the beautiful zoological and botanical atlases record new species as well as providing superb illustrations of known species.
Duperrey’s extended visit to Tahiti and the Society Islands encouraged French interest in them, which culminated in their subsequent annexation by France. Indeed, Duperrey’s largely scientific expedition heralded a more aggressive French imperial policy in the South Pacific.
This work remained unfinished. It was published in parts from 1825 to 1835. The number of volumes differs from one copy to another or between various bibliographies ; most of the time the work is bound in 11 volumes and always contains 4 volumes of atlases.
The Zoology Atlas is divided into 7 parts (birds, reptiles, fishes, molluscs, insects, crustaceans, zoophytes). The Story of the voyage is illustrated with fine plates showing villages, houses, natives…
A rare and precious set complete with the four atlases of Duperrey’s travel account, preserved as issued in the original wrappers.