Autograph letter signed to Mr. Chauvin presenting a copy of the official account of his voyage. Jules Sébastien César DUMONT D'URVILLE.

Autograph letter signed to Mr. Chauvin…
Autograph letter signed to Mr. Chauvin presenting a copy of the official account of his voyage.

N.P. N.D., but circa 1832.

Single sheet of laid paper, 207 x 260 mm., folded vertically to form a letter, written in a small and neat hand to first page and addressed – but not stamped – to the last, old folds; excellent.

Dumont d'Urville presents his new work to a scientific opinion-maker

A significant letter in which the great Pacific and Antarctic explorer Dumont d'Urville presents the first parts of his official account of his first voyage to the natural historian F.J. Chauvin of Caen, active in botanical studies in the mid-nineteenth century. Chauvin's herbarium is still held at the Université de Caen, and he is remembered by several plants named in his honour.

A significant letter in which the great Pacific and Antarctic explorer Dumont d'Urville presents the first parts of his official account of his first voyage to the natural historian F.J. Chauvin of Caen, active in botanical studies in the mid-nineteenth century. Chauvin's herbarium is still held at the Université de Caen, and he is remembered by several plants named in his honour.
In the letter, Dumont d'Urville sends Chauvin the "first two parts" of his voyage account, in the hope that they will be of interest. It may be that he was sending the first parts of the historical narrative of the voyage, first published in 1830, but given Chauvin's botanical studies, it seems more likely that he was being sent the two parts of the Botanie volume, edited by Lesson & Richard (I. Essai d'une Flore de la Nouvelle Zelande. II. Sertum Astrolabianum, Paris, 1832-4).
Dumont d'Urville had sailed on the Astrolabe (Duperrey's old ship the Coquille, renamed in honour of La Pérouse) from Toulon in April 1826. He was instructed to explore the principal island groups in the South Pacific, completing the work of the Duperrey voyage, on which the commander himself had been a naturalist. Because of his great interest in natural history, huge amounts of scientific data and specimens were collected, described and illustrated in sumptuous folio atlases. The expedition stopped at the Cape of Good Hope, passed through Bass Strait visiting Port Phillip, and arrived at Sydney on 1 December 1828.
Extensive visits were made to both Sydney and Parramatta, where Dumont d'Urville visited Samuel Marsden; the expedition sailed for New Zealand in January 1827, explored Tasman Bay, found a pass between an island in Cook Strait and the northern shore of South Island (the island consequently named D'Urville and the strait French Strait) and worked up the coast of North Island, completing the 'most comprehensive exploration of the islands since Cook's death'. They made Tonga in April 1827, explored the Fiji Archipelago, New Britain and New Guinea. In November, after a stop at Amboina, they coasted along the north-west coast of Australia and reached Tasmania. In 1828 they continued to Vanikoro in search of traces of La Pérouse, and stopped at Guam in the Marianas, before returning via the Cape of Good Hope, reaching Marseille on 25 March 1829.

Price (AUD): $4,500.00  other currencies     Ref: #4002623