JEAN-BAPTISTE LABAT (1663/4-1738)
Nouveau Voyage Aux Isles de L'Amerique. Paris: Guillaume Cavelier, 1742. 8 volumes, 12° (162 x 100mm). Titles printed in red and black, engraved portrait frontispiece, 101 engraved maps, plans, views and plates, 39 folding, woodcut headpieces and initials. (Title to vol. I browned, marginal browning to remaining titles, occasional minor spotting, mottled browning to a few plates, marginal tear to text leaf in vol. I.) Contemporary calf gilt, spines tooled in compartments, some remaining morocco lettering pieces (light wear to extremities, particularly to head and foot of spines, some joints partially split). Provenance: John Clevland (1734-1817) (shelfmarks) -- by descent to the present owners.
THE 'GREATLY AUGMENTED' 'NOUVELLE EDITION' OF LABAT'S IMPORTANT HISTORY OF THE WEST INDIES. Labat, a French Dominican missionary, naturalist and scientist, ministered to the Indians in the Carribean from 1693 to 1706, visiting Martinique and Guadeloupe. His account, Nouveau voyage aux isles françoises de l'Amérique was first published in 1722, reprinted in 1724. This second edition, 'the most copious that we possess on the Antilles' (Sabin), includes scientific observations, descriptions of flora and fauna, and suggestions for the trade of the islands' natural resources. 'His highly perceptive and scientific description of these and some of the smaller surrounding islands provides some of the only information available from this period' (Howgego). Sabin 38412. (8)