LABILLARDIERE, Jacques-Julien, Houton de (1755-1834). Novae Hollandiae plantarum specimen. Paris: D. Huzard, 1804-1806[-07]
2 volumes, 4° (335 x 245mm). 265 engraved plates by Dien, Plée and Sellier after Piron, Poiteau, Sauvage, Turpin, P.J. Redouté and Labillardière, errata leaf in volume II. (Without half titles, but with blanks before titles and final blank in volume I, occasional light spotting, heavier to titles and endleaves.) Early 19th-century English maroon morocco gilt, covers with 9-rule gilt borders and corner rosettes, spine gilt in six sections, with raised bands, lettered in two, others profusely decorated in gilt, gilt-ruled turn-ins, green endpapers (spines very slightly faded), gilt edges.
A RARE AND IMPORTANT WORK ON THE PLANTS OF AUSTRALIA AND THE WESTERN PACIFIC, based on specimens collected during the expedition of Rear-Admiral Bruny d'Entrecasteaux in search of La Perouse, 1791-95. Labillardière, who studied medicine at Montpellier, had already travelled around Syria in 1786 before he joined d'Entrecasteaux's expedition to the Pacific as a naturalist. The expedition was unsuccessful in finding La Perouse but did survey the western and south-western coasts of Australia, southern Tasmania, and parts of New Caledonia, Tonga and Santa Cruz. At Batavia, on the return home to France, the news of the French Revolution brought about a split among the crew. The republicans took one of the ships back to France only to be captured by the British en route. All the charts, papers and specimens were taken back to England, but were returned to France on the express instructions of Sir Joseph Banks, allowing Labillardière to complete his work. Ferguson 395; Great Flower Books p.63; Nissen BBI 1116; Stafleu and Cowan 4071. (2)