CHAPPE D'AUTEROCHE, Jean-Baptiste (1728-1769) and Stepan Petrovich KRASHENINNIKOV (1713-1755). Voyage en Sibérie, fait ... en 1761. Paris: Didot for Debure, 1768.
4 volumes: comprising 2 text volumes in 4, 4° (328 x 249 mm), and atlas, 2° (598 x 465 mm). Half-titles. Text volumes: engraved frontispiece by J.B. Tilliard after J.B. le Prince to volume one, part I, 56 engraved plates and plans by J.P. le Bas, J.B. Tilliard, A. de St. Aubin, C. Baquoy, et al after le Prince, C. de Fecamp, and J.M. Moreau, one engraved table, engraved vignette by Duclos after le Prince on title, woodcut vignettes on other titles, engraved head-piece and type-ornament head-pieces, woodcut tail-pieces, letterpress tables in the text, retaining errata and instructions to the binder leaves. Atlas: engraved frontispiece by J.B. Tilliard after J.B. le Prince, 29 (of 30, lacking plate 10) maps or plans, 12 folding or double-page, some hand-colored in outline. (Occasional light spotting and offsetting, minor marginal browning, 3X4 in vol. I part II with tiny marginal hole affecting a few letters.) Text in contemporary mottled calf, spines gilt, each with two gilt-lettered morocco labels (some light wear, some light chipping), atlas in green vellum. Provenance: Mme. Guillebon de Neuilly (bookplate in text); Laura and Valerian Lada-Mocarski (bookplates text); Harrison D. Horblit (bookplate atlas);
FIRST EDITION, the Horblit copy of the atlas, the Lada-Mocarski copy of the text. A colleague of Maraldi, Cassini de Thury, and Lalande at the Paris Observatory, the French priest and astronomer Jean-Baptiste Chappe d'Auteroche travelled to Siberia in 1761 to observe the transit of Venus in 1761, and his account of the trip (which occupies the first two parts of volume I), describes the meteorology, climate, fauna and minerals of the region, and also gives a sociological commentary. As Hill comments, these "forthright and sometimes provocative descriptions of Russian manners and character ... inspired the publication of an indignant rebuttal, sometimes attributed to Catherine the Great." Volume II contains his translation of Stepan Petrovich Krasheninnikov's Opisanie zemli Kamchatki (St Petersburg: 1755); although a French translation had previously been published, it was based on the abridged English translation, whereas Chappe d'Auteroche returned to the Russian original for his translation. According to the publisher's preface, the translation was made in St. Petersburg, where he consulted Gerhard Friedrich Müller--supervisor of both Krasheninnikov and Steller on Bering's second expedition--who assisted with the translation and clarified certain obscure points (see II, p.x). Chappe d'Auteroche's translation was re-issued as a separate work in 1770. "This work deserves attention for its splendid and accurate engravings " (Hill). Brunet I:1798; Hill 277; Reynaud Notes supplementaires col.83.