Autograph letter signed: "Note pour Monsieur Beautemps-Beaupré" Jules Sébastien DUMONT D'URVILLE.

Autograph letter signed: "Note pour Monsieur Beautemps-Beaupré".

Paris: 22 April 1831.

Bifolium, small quarto, manuscript in ink on paper, text on one page and address label on another, other 2 pp blank, folded for delivery.

D'Urville about hydrography, to the influential former hydrographer

Dumont d'Urville writes to Charles-François Beautemps-Beaupré (1766-1854), the hydrographer. As a young man Beautemps-Beaupré had sailed with the D'Entrecasteaux expedition in search of La Pérouse; by now he had the important position of keeper of the Dépôt de la Marine in Paris, to which he had been appointed in 1814. The Dépôt, the central French hydrographical office, was responsible for supervising and publishing the charting of the world's oceans, which at this period very much concerned the cartographical data gathered by the French explorers of the grands voyages.

Dumont d'Urville writes to Charles-François Beautemps-Beaupré (1766-1854), the hydrographer. As a young man Beautemps-Beaupré had sailed with the D'Entrecasteaux expedition in search of La Pérouse; by now he had the important position of keeper of the Dépôt de la Marine in Paris, to which he had been appointed in 1814. The Dépôt, the central French hydrographical office, was responsible for supervising and publishing the charting of the world's oceans, which at this period very much concerned the cartographical data gathered by the French explorers of the grands voyages.

In this letter D'Urville is asking about copies of the hydrographical atlas of the voyage of the Coquille, the 1822-25 voyage commanded by Duperrey on which D'Urville had served as an officer. The letter dates from the time between D'Urville's commands of his two subsequent world voyages.

The letter thus connects several French voyage milestones. Evidently quickly written by D'Urville, whose handwriting is anyway sometimes difficult to decipher in full, it runs to eight lines and would have been hand-delivered as the address panel on the reverse is limited to the recipient's name. D'Urville writes that he has received copies of the Coquille atlas returned to him by the Dépôt, enquires about the availability of other copies, and notes that he is aware that Lesson, the voyage's naturalist, has received his copies.

The hydrographical atlas from the Duperrey voyage was the only part of the extensive official publication that concerned the Dépôt de la Marine. As with most such grands voyages publications, the various components, which could be bought separately, were often produced by different publishers. The hydrographic work of the expedition tended, as Dunmore comments, 'towards perfecting existing maps rather than preparing charts of unknown areas'. As a result, the beautiful maps in the Atlas to which D'Urville refers display their debt to the earlier explorers, and include the discoveries and vessel tracks of luminaries such as Cook, Bougainville, La Pérouse, Bligh and Flinders.

Condition Report: In fine condition.

Price (AUD): $2,850.00

US$2,072.49   Other currencies

Ref: #4302354

Condition Report