Carl Peter Thunberg (1743-1828)
Voyages de C.P. Thunberg, au Japon, par le Cap de Bonne-Esprance, lie les de la Sonde, &c. traduits, rdigs et augments de notes considrables...par L. Langles...et revus, quant la partie d'histoire naturelle, par J. B. Lamarck. Paris: Benot Dandr, Garneray, Obr, 1796. 4 volumes, 8 (19.5 x 12.5cm.) Half-titles, final blanks. Engraved portrait, 21 plates, 5 folding, one engraved headpiece. (Occasional light spotting or browning, three plates in vol. IV shaved with loss of plate number, vol.IV T8 with rust-hole, Z1 torn, neither with loss of text.) Contemporary French figured sheep, the flat spines gilt with red and brown morocco lettering-pieces (spines and extremities worn). Provenance: N.P. van den Berg, Amsterdam (blindstamp).
A description of the travels of 'the first Western scientist to investigate Japan botanically' (DSB). A protg of Linnaeus, Thunberg was invited, via Jan and Nikolaus Burman, to accompany a Dutch merchant ship to Japan and collect as many Japanese garden plants as possible. 'In order to enter Japan, he had to behave in every respect like a good Dutchman. He learned Dutch by stopping off in South Africa...where he remained from April 1772 to March 1775, thus fortunately combining language studies with botanical excursions. There had been very little true botanical investigation of the Cape Colony; during his stay Thunberg made three voyages into the interior, collecting and describing more than three thousand plants, of which about one thousand were new to science... In March 1775 Thunberg sailed on a Dutch ship to Batavia. From Java on another Dutch vessel to the island of Deshima in Nagasaki harbor, the only Japanese port open to European trade... He left the country in December 1776 with a rich collection for further analysis. On his way home he visited Java, Ceylon, and the Cape Colony' (DSB XIII pp. 391-392).
Brunet V, 850; Cordier 447. (4)