JEAN-FRANÇOIS GALAUP, COMTE DE LA PÉROUSE (1741-1788)
Voyage de La Pérouse Autour du Monde, Publié conformément au décret du 22 Avril 1791, et Rédigé par M. L.A. Milet-Mureau. Paris: Imprimerie de la République, An V [i.e. 1797]. 4 text volumes, 4° (310 x 235mm) and 2° Atlas (608 x 450mm). engraved portrait of La Pérouse after Tardieu, all half-titles, colophon leaf in vol. I-III, vol. IV colophon following index. (All text vols dampstained throughout, vol. IV with a few minor marginal chips to a few leaves.) Atlas with engraved allegorical title-page by Moreau le Jeune, titled 'Atlas du voyage de La Pérouse' without imprint, and 69 engraved plates: folding world map, 35 views and natural history plates, 20 double-page maps and 13 single-page maps or coastal profiles. (Without the second engraved title or the occasional seventieth plate, a portrait of La Pérouse, a couple of the double-maps plates with light creasing, occasional light scattered spotting, soiling and dampstaining.) ORIGINAL PINK PAPER-COVERED BOARDS, UNOPENED AND UNCUT, printed paper spine labels to text vols (text vols. soiled and worn particularly to heads of spines, wear more heavy to vol IV with portion of upper cover missing and two chips to lower cover and with upper joint split and backstrip almost detached).
ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT SCIENTIFIC EXPLORATIONS EVER UNDERTAKEN TO THE PACIFIC AND THE N.W. AMERICAN COAST, AND THE FIRST SCIENTIFIC VOYAGE TO CALIFORNIA. La Pérouse, commanding the Astrolabe and Bussole sailed around Cape Horn for Easter Island and Hawaii before heading for the Aleutians and Alaska. Near Yakutat they optimistically named Lituya Bay 'Port des Français' (some excellent views of which are included in the atlas), and continued south to California before crossing the Pacific to China, Japan and Kamchatka. From Macao, portions of his logs, journals and drawings were sent back to France, and from Kamchatka, Ferdinand de Lessups carried other reports across Siberia to Europe; thus the only records of the expedition were saved. La Pérouse's last entries were sent from Botany Bay, dated February 1788, and after departing from Australia in March, neither men nor ships were ever heard from again. UNIFORM SET IN THE ORIGINAL BINDINGS WITH LARGE, UNCUT MARGINS. Hill 972; Forbes 272; Lada-Mocarski 52; Ferguson 251; Brunet III, 828-829; Sabin 4797.