COOK, James (1728-1779). Relation des voyages entrepris pour faire des découvertes dans l'hémisphère méridional. – Voyage dans l'hémisphère austral et autour du monde, fait en 1772-1775. – Troisième voyage de Cook, ou voyage à l'océan Pacifique exécuté en 1777-1780. Paris: Saillant & Nyon, Panckoucke, 1774-1785. [Sold together with:] – KIPPIS, Andrew (1725-1795). La Vie du capitaine Cook. Traduite de l'anglais par Castera. Paris: 1789.
A superb, extra-illustrated set of the first French translation of the narrative of Cook's three epic voyages. Having left in 1769, after having obtained the authorization of the Royal Society of London in 1768, Captain Cook discovered the islands archipelago of the Society, explored the coasts of New Zealand (which he determined the first configuration) and the canal that cuts it in two (called since Cook Strait). He collected observations on these unexplored lands since their discovery by Tasman in 1642. He surveyed the coast of Australia the following year. The present lot has 7 more plates than usually called for in the Second Voyage, including one engraved plate and one table in the Observations faites pendant le Second voyage volume. The full breakdown is as follows: Relation, 4 vols: 52 engraved plates, of which 40 folding (matching Sabin); Voyage: 5 vols (the Observations is the 5th vol.): 72 plates of which 36 folding, 2 folding tables (Sabin calling for 65 plates); Troisieme: 4 vols, 88 plates of which 61 folding, one folding table (matching Sabin). Beddie 32, 660, 1223 and 1556; Sabin 30940, 16249, 16261, 37955 and 25141.
14 volumes, quarto (258 x 195mm). 212 engraved plates, maps, views and plans, of which 137 folding, 3 folding tables (a few plates faintly browned, one open and one repaired tear). Uniform contemporary mottled calf, red and green morocco lettering pieces, gilt spines and turn-ins. Provenance: Chateau de Bossuyt (bookplate in vol. X).