Voyage de Découvertes aux Terres Australes … sur les corvettes le Géographe, le Naturaliste, et la goélette le Casuarina, pendant les années 1800, 1801, 1802, 1803 et 1804. BAUDIN, François PERON, Louis de FREYCINET.
Voyage de Découvertes aux Terres Australes … sur les corvettes le Géographe, le Naturaliste, et la goélette le Casuarina, pendant les années 1800, 1801, 1802, 1803 et 1804.
Voyage de Découvertes aux Terres Australes … sur les corvettes le Géographe, le Naturaliste, et la goélette le Casuarina, pendant les années 1800, 1801, 1802, 1803 et 1804.
Voyage de Découvertes aux Terres Australes … sur les corvettes le Géographe, le Naturaliste, et la goélette le Casuarina, pendant les années 1800, 1801, 1802, 1803 et 1804.
Voyage de Découvertes aux Terres Australes … sur les corvettes le Géographe, le Naturaliste, et la goélette le Casuarina, pendant les années 1800, 1801, 1802, 1803 et 1804.
Voyage de Découvertes aux Terres Australes … sur les corvettes le Géographe, le Naturaliste, et la goélette le Casuarina, pendant les années 1800, 1801, 1802, 1803 et 1804.

Voyage de Découvertes aux Terres Australes…
Voyage de Découvertes aux Terres Australes … sur les corvettes le Géographe, le Naturaliste, et la goélette le Casuarina, pendant les années 1800, 1801, 1802, 1803 et 1804.

Paris: Arthus Bertrand, 1824.

Four volumes, octavo, with a frontispiece portrait of Péron; and a folio atlas, containing a large folding map of Australia, seven full-page charts, two fine large folding views (one of Sydney), 27 superb handcoloured engraved plates and 31 uncoloured plates; the Atlas with original tissue guards to the plates; a fine set in uniform contemporary French romantique binding of quarter red calf, spine decorated and lettered in gilt between raised bands.

The rare second edition with expanded suite of plates

A beautiful set, in an attractive French romantique binding of the period. This important second and extensively altered edition of the official account of the Baudin voyage to Australia and the Pacific is notably scarce on the market, rarer than the first by a factor of perhaps ten or more. Appearing in a different format to the first edition, as four octavo volumes of text with a single-volume quarto atlas, the publication contains 68 plates in total, which include the pictorial plates from the first edition, a series of reduced and revised versions of the charts from the second part of the first edition atlas, and an additional 23 engraved plates, new for this edition. In its more complete, second edition form the pictorial impact of the Atlas Historique is even more apparent than in the original edition: the wonderful plates include some of the most beautiful early views of Australia; while the superb series of portraits of Aborigines represents the most compassionate yet honest portrayal of the displaced natives to be seen in any of the early voyage accounts. Most of the exceptional illustrations are by the remarkable artists Nicolas-Martin Petit and Charles-Alexandre Lesueur.

A beautiful set, in an attractive French romantique binding of the period. This important second and extensively altered edition of the official account of the Baudin voyage to Australia and the Pacific is notably scarce on the market, rarer than the first by a factor of perhaps ten or more. Appearing in a different format to the first edition, as four octavo volumes of text with a single-volume quarto atlas, the publication contains 68 plates in total, which include the pictorial plates from the first edition, a series of reduced and revised versions of the charts from the second part of the first edition atlas, and an additional 23 engraved plates, new for this edition. In its more complete, second edition form the pictorial impact of the Atlas Historique is even more apparent than in the original edition: the wonderful plates include some of the most beautiful early views of Australia; while the superb series of portraits of Aborigines represents the most compassionate yet honest portrayal of the displaced natives to be seen in any of the early voyage accounts. Most of the exceptional illustrations are by the remarkable artists Nicolas-Martin Petit and Charles-Alexandre Lesueur.

The plates new to this edition include four important portraits of named Australian Aborigines to extend the beautiful series familiar to us from the first edition. There is also a most important engraved sheet of music, the first notation of any indigenous Australian music and including a rendering of the Aboriginal cooee call (Cou-hé, described as the "Cri de Ralliement"). The text for this edition was extensively revised by Louis de Freycinet himself after his return from the Uranie voyage. His changes from the first edition – publication of which he had taken over after François Péron's death in 1810 – include an implicit abandonment of French territorial ambitions in Australia: the first edition of the book had a series of maps of the Australian coastline with French place names, which were quietly dropped from this second edition. It is on the general map of Australia that Freycinet, in the post-Napoleonic era, has famously changed many of the place-names back to their English versions. We can also point out another significant change: the celebrated vignette on the engraved title of the atlas volume depicting Malmaison and its Australian menagerie and arboretum has been re-engraved: no longer is the map at centre front lettered "Terre Napoleon"; it has quietly become "Nlle Hollande".

Freycinet, the great explorer, actually spent much more of his life writing and assembling data than he did exploring. Some of his work in revising the Baudin narrative for publication in this form was done during his own voyage on the Uranie (1817-20). He spent the final twenty years of his life preparing the massive official narrative of that voyage, during the early period of which he was also heavily occupied in preparing this work.

The Baudin voyage

Baudin's two ships, the Géographe and the Naturaliste, left Le Havre on 19 October 1800. Sailing via Tenerife and sighting the Cape of Good Hope they reached Mauritius after a long six months, during which time shipboard quarrels and illness caused a mass defection of scientists and sailors.

Having rejigged his crew, Baudin set sail for New Holland, sighting Cape Leeuwin on 27 May and anchoring in Geographe Bay three days later. He sailed north and examined Rottnest Island and Swan River, but the two ships became separated on 11 June. The Géographe finally anchored at Shark Bay on 27 June but had left by the time the Naturaliste arrived. The latter vessel stayed on in Shark Bay to make an extensive survey – including the discovery of the Vlamingh plate – while Baudin and the Géographe worked along the difficult coast past the North West Cape. The two ships ultimately arrived in Timor in August and September; tropical diseases were already causing deaths among the crew.

In November they sailed south for Cape Leeuwin where Baudin, ignoring his instructions to begin charting the south coast immediately, headed for Tasmania, making the D'Entrecasteaux Channel in early January. The two vessels began a close survey of the east coast, again becoming separated. Hamelin on the Naturaliste crossed Bass Strait and made a survey of Western Port before running for Port Jackson. Meanwhile Baudin began his survey of "Terre Napoleon", meeting Matthew Flinders at Encounter Bay in April. Worn out, Baudin turned for Sydney, but chose to again round the southern tip of Tasmania, meaning that he did not arrive off Port Jackson until 17 June, his crew severely weakened by scurvy.

Hamelin had already headed out to search for Baudin in Bass Strait, but the combination of a storm and poor provisions saw him back in Sydney a few days later, and the two ships stayed in Sydney until November. Warmly and hospitably entertained by Governor King, the French spent their time recuperating and making sense of their collections.

In Sydney Baudin purchased a small vessel which he named the Casuarina, placing Louis de Freycinet in charge. The Casuarina, just 29 feet in length, was acquired to help make the difficult inshore surveys, and Louis' appointment should be understood as an early notice of his skills in charting. The three vessels left Sydney together, but Baudin decided to send the Naturaliste directly back to France, and Hamelin reached Le Havre on 7 June 1803, having sailed via Mauritius.

The Géographe and the Casuarina made close surveys of King Island, Kangaroo Island and the Gulf of St Vincent ("Golfe Joséphine"), before continuing to King George's Sound in western Australia, whence they returned to Shark Bay and the northwest before finally reaching Timor on 7 May 1803. They made a quick return visit to the northwest coast of Australia – their third – and reached Mauritius in July, where Baudin died on 19 September. Command was given to Pierre-Bernard Milius, who had been recuperating in Port Louis where he had been left by Hamelin. The decision was made to abandon the Casuarina, and the remaining crew transferred to the Géographe, which returned home on 25 March 1804, almost three-and-a-half years after they left.

Péron, and later Freycinet after Péron's death in 1810, co-authored the publication of the official narrative of the voyage.

The plates new to this edition

23 plates (nine of them coloured) were added to the Atlas for this edition: -

1. Timor, Cavalier Malais [col]

2. Timor, Malais Libre [col]

3. Timor, Habitation Malaises

4. Timor, Vases, Boetes et Paniers Malais

5. Timor, Peignes Malaises

6. Timor, Jeux…

7. Ile Timor

8. Timor, Armes et Instruments de Musique

9. Timor, Peches et Navigation

10. Ile de Solor, Soldat d' Infanterie Malaise [col]

11. Ile de Rotti, Asterina [col]

12. Ile Timor. Vue d'un cimitiere

13. Timor, Details d'un Tombeaux Chinois

14. Nouvelle-Hollande, Jeune Femme da la Tribe des Cam-mer-ray-gal [col]

15. Nouvelle-Hollande, Bedgi-Bedgi [col]

16. Nouvelle-Hollande, Ouro-Mare

17. Nouvelle-Hollande, Jeune Femme da la Tribe des Bou-rou-be-ron-gal [col]

18. Nouvelle-Hollande, Vues en Nouvelle-Galles du Sud et Terre de Leuwin

19. Afrique Australe, Femme Houzwanas

20. Nouvelle-Hollande, Armes, Utensils

21. Nouvelle-Hollande, dessins

22. Afrique Orientale, Mosambique

23. Afrique Australe, Bastaard-Hottentot

Provenance: Jacques Pouquet (French collector, with his book-ticket in each volume).

Davidson, 'A Book Collector's Notes', p. 109; Ferguson, 978 & 979; this edition not in the catalogue of the Hill collection; Wantrup, 82.

Price (AUD): $38,500.00

US$28,593.21   Other currencies

Ref: #4505125