LA PEROUSE, JEAN FRANÇOIS DE GALAUP, Comte de, JEAN JACQUES HOUTON DE LABILLARDIERE and ANTOINE RAYMOND JOSEPH DE BRUNI D'ENTRECASTEUAX. A collected set of first editions of La Perouse's voyage and the subseqent expedition in search of him. Paris 1797-1807. Together 8 vol.s in 6 (text), 4to, 296 x 226 mm. and 3 vols. (plates), atlas folio, 574 x 432 mm.; in all 9 vols., uniformly bound in early nineteenth-century French catspaw polished calf gilt (atlas in matching half calf and marbled paper sides), spines gilt with red and green morocco labels, marbled edges, vols. I-II of La Perouse and the atlases rebacked with old backstrips laid down, some other binding repairs, most joints cracked. AN EXCELLENT SET.
LA PEROUSE, J. F. DE G. Voyage de la Perouse autour du monde, publié conforément au décret du 22 Avril 1791, et rédigé par M.L.A. Milet-Mureau. Paris: Imprimerie de la République, An V (1797). 4 vols. in 2, 4to, and atlas, folio, lacking a half-title in each text vol. and colophon leaf in vol. 3. Engraved portrait frontispiece in vol. 1, atlas: engraved allegorical frontispiece by Triere after J. M. Moreau le Jeune and 69 engraved plates (33 charts; 36 views, anthropological, botanical and natural history plates), many with more than one subject, and many folding. Ferguson 251; Hill p. 173; Sabin 38960.
LABILLARDIERE, J.J. H. DE. Relation du voyage a la recherche de La Perouse, fair par ordre de l'Assemblée Constituante, pendant les années 1791, 1792, et pendant la 1.re. et al 2.e. année de la République Française. Paris: H.J. Jansen, An VIII [1799-1800]. 2 vols., 4to and atlas, folio, lacks half-titles in text vols., marginal tear repried in plate 12, a few leaves browned in vol. 1, some slight foxing in atlas. Engraved title and 44 engraved plates, including a folding chart and 13 BOTANICAL PLATES BY PIERRE-JOSEPH REDOUTé. Ferguson 307; Pritzel 4962; Sabin 38420.
D'ENTRECASTEAUX, A.R.J. DE B. Voyage de Dentrecasteaux envoyé a la recherce de La Perouse. Publie par ordre de sa majesté l'Empereur de Roi, sous le ministère de S.E. le vice-amiral Decrès, comte de l'empire. Redigé par M. de Rossel, ancien capitaine de vaisseau. Paris: Imprimerie Impériale, 1808. 2 vols., 4to, and atlas, folio, lacks half-titles in text vols., a few folding plates at end of vol. 1 with an extra crease due to careless folding, last five maps in atlas slightly foxed. 33 folding engraved plates in the text vols. (mostly coastal profiles at end of vol. 1; plate of a compass in vol. 2), atlas: engraved title, engraved leaf of contents and 39 numbered engraved maps, charts and profiles,any double-page. Ferguson 461 (text) and 443 (atlas); Hill, p. 97; Sabin 22671.
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, and to promote the future of French commerce. 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. Despatches were made to France from Kamchatka, whence de Lesseps returned via an overland journey, and also from Botany Bay where the expedition arrived within days of the First Fleet. This proved to be La Pérouse's last despatch as he was never seen or hear from again. 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.
In 1791, d'Entrecasteaux was ordered by the Assemblée Constitutante on an exploring voyage, in search of La Perouse and to promote French interests in the Pacific South Seas. His ships were the Recherche and the Esperance, with Labillardiere as naturalist to the expedition (see also lot 90 in the present catalogue his 1804-1806 publication on Australian plants based upon this expedition). No traces were found of La Perouse but many valuable contributions to anthropology and natural history were made. The West and South-West coasts of Australia and the South coast of Tasmania were surveyed. One of the best contributions to Tongan anthropology is Labillardiere's account of the native inhabitants. The d'Entrecasteaux Islands near New Guinea were discovered and named for the admiral, who later died of colic off north New Guinea. The political squabbles of the French Revolutionary government caused a split in the expedition. Royalists joined the Dutch on Java while the Republicans, together with the expedition's charts, journals and natural history specimens were captured by the British Navy. At the urging of Sir Joseph Banks, these were later delivered to France under a flag of truce.
Proveance: Bremmer (sale, Gaston Renard-Leonard Joel, Collingwood, Australia, lot 579). (3)