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The Mapping of North America

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This work records Cyrille Pierre Laplace’s second voyage of circumnavigation which consolidated French interests in the Pacific. The four text volumes are accompanied by the folio ‘Album’ containing 72 magnificent aquatint plates illustrating views, costume and maritime scenery. Sabin described it as “Perhaps the finest series of plates of any of the picturesque voyages”. Amongst the fine aquatint views by de Sainson are three of Australia, two of which are Sydney. Fine images also include two of Singapore, one of Manilla, four of Mauritius, one of the Seychelles, three of Macao, Canton and Java. The work is the only great French voyage work to have been published with aquatint plates.

Laplace (1793-1875) was commissioned in December 1829 to take an expedition in the ‘Favorite’ to India, the East Indies, and South East Asia, and on to the South Pacific. His was instructed to protect French merchant vessels and glean information from the ports he visited which might be of value to France. The voyage stopped at Mauritius, the Seychelles, Pondicherry, Malacca, Singapore, Manilla, Canton, Indochina, Java and Tasmania arriving in Hobart in July 1831. Here he had been instructed to look for a potential site for penal colony. He then went on to Sydney where he describes his reception at length as being suspicious. They then travelled on to New Zealand and the Bay Islands where the French crew witnessed the Maori eat human flesh after battle. The Favorite arrived back in Toulon after a 28 month journey.

Important scientific research was also a part of the voyage with many new species being discovered. Dunmore states ‘the importance of the expeditions of the Venus, the Artemise and the Heroine in laying the foundations for the subsequent sharing-out of Oceania should never be overlooked …’ Borba I p. 390; Brunet III-834-835; Cordier, 2426; Dunmore ‘French Exploration of the Pacific’ pp. 317-40; Ferguson 1669; Hill, 980; Judd & Lind ‘Voyages to Hawaii before 1860’ 105; Sabin 38983.

LAPLACE, Cyrille Pierre T.

Voyage Autour du Mondepar les mers de l'Inde et de Chine execute sur la corvette La Favorite pendant les annees 1830, 1831 et 1832 sous le commandement de M. Laplace

Paris, 1835
ONE OF THE GREAT PLATE BOOKS ON A VOYAGE OF CIRCUMNAVIGATION. Five volumes consisting of 4 octavo volumes of text and a folio atlas volume, contemporary half calf green publishers boards, spines weak. With 72 fine aquatint plates by de Sainson, some light foxing as usual, otherwise in good condition.
Stock number: 8383

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