LA PÉROUSE, JEAN FRANÇOIS DE GALAUP, Comte de. Voyage de La Pérouse autour du monde, publié conformément au décret du 22 Avril 1791, et rédigé par...[le baron Louis Marie-Antoine] Millet-Mureau. Paris: Imprimerie de la République An V (1797). 4 vols., 4to, 300 x 230 mm. (11 7/8 x 9 in.) text and atlas, large folio, 605 x 440 mm. (23 7/8 x 17¼ in.), original pink marbled paper boards, uncut, vols. III and IV unopened, rebacked with modern roan gilt, atlas with roan cornerpieces, corners and board edges worn, lacks engraved portrait, a few marginal dampstains in atlas. FIRST EDITION, atlas with 70 engraved maps and plates including the engraved title, many folding and several containing multiple subjects, engraved by Delestre, Herault, Masquelier, Simonet and others after Duché de Vancy, Moreau le Jeune, the Prevosts and others. Ferguson Australia 251; Hill, p. 173; Sabin 38960; Streeter sale VI, 3493; Zamorano Eighty 49.
The two frigates Astrolabe and Boussole, under La Pérouse's command, left France in 1785 to explore the Pacific, particularly the regions unexamined by Captain Cook and the West Coast of North America. This was the first French expedition to visit Alaska and the first European non-Spanish expedition to stay at the Spanish settlements in California. La Pérouse also visited Easter Island, Hawaii, Macao, Formosa, Samoa, Tonga and Australia. He sent his last despatch from Botany Bay and was never seen or heard from again, despite several searches. The shattered fragments of the frigates were eventually found thirty-nine years later, on the reef of Vanikolo in the Santa Cruz Islands in Melanesia.
Provenance: The Society of Writers to the Signet, gilt supralibros and book label. (4)