9 May 2002
James Weddell (1787-1834)
A Voyage towards the South Pole, performed in the years 1822-24. Containing an examination of the antarctic sea, to the seventy-fourth degree of latitude: and a visit to Tierra del Fuego, with a particular account of the inhabitants. To which is added, much useful information on the coasting navigation of Cape Horn, and the adjacent lands, with charts of harbours, &c. London: A.& R.Spottiswoode for Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, Brown & Green, 1825. 8° (225 x 138mm). Errata slip tipped in before B1. Hand-coloured aquatint frontispiece, 6 aquatint plates by Clark after Weddell, including 2 folding panoramic coastal profiles, 8 engraved maps 6 folding. (A number of partially erased ownership stamps on the title, H3, O5 and a number of plates and maps.) Original boards, paper title label to back-strip (joints weak, covers and backstrip with signs of removal of librarty label). Provenance: S.H.Spiker (ownership inscription dated 1826).
First edition of 'the true starting point for an Antarctic collection' (Taurus). James Weddell, a Royal Navy veteran, was in command of a fur-sealing expedition mounted by the British firm of Enderby when through a combination of skill, mild weather and good luck, he reached a 'farthest south' of 74°15'. The sea into which he sailed was named after him but in subsequent years the return of the ice-pack and more usual weather conditions prevented any early repetition of his achievements. Abbey Travel II, 609; Conrad p.31; Spence 1246; cf.Taurus 4 (incorrectly calling for lithographic plates).
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