ENTRECASTEAUX, Antoine Raymond Joseph de Bruni, Chevalier d' (1737-1793). Voyage de Dentrecasteaux, envoyé a la recherche de La Pérouse. Publié par ordre de sa Majesté l'Empereur et Roi... Rédigé par M. de Roseel, ancien capitaine de vaisseau. Paris: Imprimerie Impèriale, 1808. -- Atlas du Voyage de Bruny-Dentrecasteaux... fait par ordre du governement en 1791. 1792 et 1793. Pub. par ordre de Sa Majesté l'Empereur et roi... par C.F. Beautemps-Beaupré. Paris: Au Dèpôt général des cartes et plans de la marine et des colonies, 1807.
2 volumes, 4to (282 x 219 mm) and folio atlas (553 x 419 mm). 33 engraved folding plates in the text volumes and 39 engraved maps in the atlas, mostly double-page. (Some scattered spotting, mostly in the margins, plates in text volumes with some wear at edges.) Text bound in contemporary red half roan, richly gilt, red boards, atlas in contemporary half calf, honeycombed cloth. Provenance: Lichtenstenhaus (bookplate in atlas).
FIRST EDITION, A VERY HANDSOME SET. Entrecasteaux joined the French navy in 1754 and, to pick up from the Columbia enyclopedia, 6th edition, fought in 1756 at Minorca. He assumed command of the French fleet of the East Indies and in 1787, was appointed governor of Mauritius and the Isle of Bourbon. While in command in search for La Perouse in 1791-92, he determined the position of Amsterdam Island, explored the coastlines of New Caledonia, Tasmania, and New Holland, and located several groups of islands. Many of the charts made by the expedition (particularly those of South Australia produced by Beautemp Beaupre) were of unusually high standards, and the 12 magnificent maps of Western Australia and Tasmania recorded the coast accurately for the first time. They are regarded the most significant ever made. A very rare account of a voyage with tremendous importance to the exploration of Australia and the Pacific. A beautiful first of a crucial work. Hill, p.97; Sabin 22671. (3)