• The Wolfgang A. Herz Library:  auction at Christies

    Sale 2158

    The Wolfgang A. Herz Library: Important Voyages and Travels

    9 December 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 3

    ARAGO, Jacques Étienne Victor (1790-1855). Narrative of a Voyage Round the World, in the Uranie and Physicienne Corvettes, commanded by Captain Freycinet, during the years 1817, 1818, 1819, and 1820; on a scientific expedition undertaken by order of the French Government. In a Series of Letters to a Friend. To which is prefixed, The Report made to the Academy of Sciences, on the General Results of the Expedition. London: T. Davison and Howlett and Brimmer for Treuttel and Wurtz, Treuttel jun. and Richter, 1823.

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    ARAGO, Jacques Étienne Victor (1790-1855). Narrative of a Voyage Round the World, in the Uranie and Physicienne Corvettes, commanded by Captain Freycinet, during the years 1817, 1818, 1819, and 1820; on a scientific expedition undertaken by order of the French Government. In a Series of Letters to a Friend. To which is prefixed, The Report made to the Academy of Sciences, on the General Results of the Expedition. London: T. Davison and Howlett and Brimmer for Treuttel and Wurtz, Treuttel jun. and Richter, 1823.

    4o (262 x 209 mm). Half-title. Folding engraved route map and 25 lithographic plates from drawings by Arago. (Some minor staining.) 19th-century half calf and marbled boards (some light wear to edges). Provenance: Henry L. White ("Australian Ornithology, Philately and Bibliography" bookplate).

    FIRST ENGLISH EDITION of the narrative of France's first post-Napoleonic circumnavigation on which Arago sailed as draughtsman. The scientific reports were separately published by Freycinet from 1825 to 1844, the most notable of which recorded the measurement of the southern hemisphere. Arago's popular account focuses on the scenery, people and natural history of the Pacific, reflected in the title of the first French edition: Promenade autour du monde. His drawings are among the most realistic expedition illustrations of their time, well outside the classical rendition given to Pacific islanders by Bartolozzi in his interpretation of the drawings of Webber and Hodges on Cook's voyages. Louis de Freycinet had first been to the Pacific with Nicholas Baudin's Australian exploratory expedition of 1800-1803 when he was responsible for its charts and atlases. This 1817 expedition was of his own design, intended for scientific rather than geographic discovery. Sailing east from the Cape of Good Hope in the Uranie, he made for Timor, Micronesia and Hawaii, Australia, and the Malouines (Falkland Islands), where his one ship was wrecked and another was purchased and re-christened Physicienne. Appended are vocabularies for Timor, the Marianas and Carolines, and Hawaii. Ferguson 885; Hill 29; Forbes 562.


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