Item #4505062 "Kanguroo à queue grèle, Mâle: (Kangurus lepturus. N.)." Proof engraving (before substantial changes) for plate 10 in the Atlas Zoologie (1824) of the Freycinet account of the Uranie voyage, "Voyage autour du monde fait par ordre du Roi, sur les corvettes de Sa Majesté l'Uranie et la Physicienne, pendant les années 1817, 1818, 1819 et 1820" FREYCINET VOYAGE, A. PREVOST, Jean Louis-Denis COUTANT.

"Kanguroo à queue grèle" Proof engraving (before substantial changes) for plate 10 in the Atlas Zoologie of the Freycinet account of the Uranie voyage.
"Kanguroo à queue grèle, Mâle: (Kangurus lepturus. N.)." Proof engraving (before substantial changes) for plate 10 in the Atlas Zoologie (1824) of the Freycinet account of the Uranie voyage, "Voyage autour du monde fait par ordre du Roi, sur les corvettes de Sa Majesté l'Uranie et la Physicienne, pendant les années 1817, 1818, 1819 et 1820".

[Paris]: [Langlois], 1824 or earlier.

Black and white engraving, 320 x 238mm.

Proof zoological engraving before significant editing

Very rare early proof for an engraving of a potoroo in the zoological Atlas of the Freycinet voyage account: the engraving as finally published would include a further taxonomical detail in the form of added detail of the animal's skull, titled "Son crâne", and the caption would be entirely changed, renaming the animal completely from Kangurus lepturus as shown here to Hypsiprymnus white. These are names given to different specimens of Gaimard's Rat-Kangaroo collected by the Freycinet voyage zoologists Jean Rene Constant Quoy and Joseph Paul Gaimard. We are not aware of the reasoning that led to this change of name, but such a substantial change from proof to finished engraving is noteworthy.

Very rare early proof for an engraving of a potoroo in the zoological Atlas of the Freycinet voyage account: the engraving as finally published would include a further taxonomical detail in the form of added detail of the animal's skull, titled "Son crâne", and the caption would be entirely changed, renaming the animal completely from Kangurus lepturus as shown here to Hypsiprymnus white. These are names given to different specimens of Gaimard's Rat-Kangaroo collected by the Freycinet voyage zoologists Jean Rene Constant Quoy and Joseph Paul Gaimard. We are not aware of the reasoning that led to this change of name, but such a substantial change from proof to finished engraving is noteworthy.

In the text of the Zoologie section Quoy and Gaimard equate the "petit kanguroo ou le kanguroo-rat des habitans du Port-Jackson" with those shown in the First Fleet accounts of Phillip (plate 47) and White (plate 60), and tell a sad story of the live specimen that they collected: "Notre individu a vécu quelques jours à bord de l'Uranie: il devint victime de la férocité d'un chien que nous avions pris aux îles des Papous, et qui l'étrangla au moment où il s'avançait vers lui en cherchant à le caresser..." [The dog ate our potoroo].

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They also describe coming across potoroos in the Blue Mountains: "Ces petits animaux sont d'un naturel très-doux, et moins timides que les kanguroos. Dans un voyage que nous fîmes dans l'intérieur des Montagnes-bleues de la Nouvelle-Hollande, nous eûmes occasion d'en voir un venir enlever familièrement, au milieu de la case en terre qui nous servoit d'abri, des restes d'alimens, et s'enfuir par un trou à la manière des rats. Nous croyons que c'est une variété de l'espèce que nous venons de décrire".---

The index to the publication lists the animal as "Potoroo White du Port Jackson"."A French voyage in 1816, under the command of Louis Freycinet, brought back to Paris a wealth of new specimens, information and sketches of kangaroos. The published account of the natural history of the voyage, which included striking plates of the 'Kanguroo Laineux' and the 'Potoroo White', was overseen by Georges Cuvier, the leading French naturalist of the day" (Des Cowley and Brian Hubber, "Distinct Creation: Early European Images of Australian Animals", in The La Trobe Journal, 66, Spring 2000; online resource). Perhaps we can assume that Cuvier enforced the name change.

For the naming of different specimens collected of the potoroo, see Iredale and Troughton, p. 37, "Checklist of the mammals recorded from Australia", in Australian Museum Memoir 6: 1–122, 1934.

Condition Report: Fine.

Price (AUD): $2,600.00

US$1,716.19   Other currencies

Ref: #4505062

Condition Report