Relations de divers voyages curieux, qui n'ont point esté publiees; ou qui ont esté traduites d'Hacluyt, de Purchas, & d'autres Voyageurs Anglois, Hollandois, Portugais, Allemands, Espagnols… Enrichies de Figures de Plantes non décrites, d'Animaux inconnus à l'Europe, & de Cartes Geographiques de Pays dont on n'a point encore donnée de Cartes…. Melchisidec THEVENOT.
Relations de divers voyages curieux, qui n'ont point esté publiees; ou qui ont esté traduites d'Hacluyt, de Purchas, & d'autres Voyageurs Anglois, Hollandois, Portugais, Allemands, Espagnols… Enrichies de Figures de Plantes non décrites, d'Animaux inconnus à l'Europe, & de Cartes Geographiques de Pays dont on n'a point encore donnée de Cartes…
Relations de divers voyages curieux, qui n'ont point esté publiees; ou qui ont esté traduites d'Hacluyt, de Purchas, & d'autres Voyageurs Anglois, Hollandois, Portugais, Allemands, Espagnols… Enrichies de Figures de Plantes non décrites, d'Animaux inconnus à l'Europe, & de Cartes Geographiques de Pays dont on n'a point encore donnée de Cartes…

Relations de divers voyages curieux, qui n'ont point esté publiees.
Relations de divers voyages curieux, qui n'ont point esté publiees; ou qui ont esté traduites d'Hacluyt, de Purchas, & d'autres Voyageurs Anglois, Hollandois, Portugais, Allemands, Espagnols… Enrichies de Figures de Plantes non décrites, d'Animaux inconnus à l'Europe, & de Cartes Geographiques de Pays dont on n'a point encore donnée de Cartes…

Paris: Jacques Langlois [and others], 1663.

Folio, with five maps and two plates; illustrations in text; title, table and one page printed in black and red; an excellent copy in contemporary French mottled calf, spine gilt in compartments.

The La Rochefoucauld copy of Thevenot, with the first state of the Tasman map

First edition: including the very rare and desirable first state of the Tasman map, the first printed map to show Tasman's discoveries and the most important of all early maps of the shores of Australia and New Zealand. This excellent copy of the book came from the library at Chateau La Roche-Guyon, to which it would have been added on publication. It is the earliest issue of Thevenot's great collection of voyages, and contains the first appearance of the double-page map based on Tasman's voyages, in its first state (without tropic or rhumb lines). Second, third and fourth parts of the collection were issued between 1664 and 1672, while various collective issues appeared before the final issue, incorporating a fifth part, of 1696. In these later issues, the Tasman map is almost invariably in one of its three (or possibly four) later states.

First edition: including the very rare and desirable first state of the Tasman map, the first printed map to show Tasman's discoveries and the most important of all early maps of the shores of Australia and New Zealand. This excellent copy of the book came from the library at Chateau La Roche-Guyon, to which it would have been added on publication. It is the earliest issue of Thevenot's great collection of voyages, and contains the first appearance of the double-page map based on Tasman's voyages, in its first state (without tropic or rhumb lines). Second, third and fourth parts of the collection were issued between 1664 and 1672, while various collective issues appeared before the final issue, incorporating a fifth part, of 1696. In these later issues, the Tasman map is almost invariably in one of its three (or possibly four) later states.

This was the first printed map devoted solely to Australia and New Zealand, and was based on the marble world map in the Amsterdam Stadhuys. It was this map that properly gave the first clear idea of the shape and location of the new fifth continent, while also indicating the gaps in European knowledge that would not be filled until Cook's voyages more than a century later.

The numerous separate travel accounts include 'La Terre Australe Descouvverte par le Capitaine Pelsart, qui y fait naufrage', Pelsaert's description of the loss of the Batavia on the west coast of Australia in 1629, with his account of the bloody mutiny and its horrific aftermath. This was the first version of the narrative to have been printed outside Holland and the first in any language other than Dutch.

The last copy of this important edition that we can trace as having appeared on the open market was the Davidson copy, also with the first state of the Tasman map (Australian Book Auctions, 7 March 2005, lot 17, $60,580).

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Apart from its importance to Australia, the Relations includes other very interesting material that had not been previously published in French. These include several narratives from the Dutch such as the description of Coxinga's victory which resulted in the end of Dutch rule in Formosa (1661), again in the first published account outside Holland. There are also translations of Greave's Pyramidographia, the voyages of da Mota, Pelsaert, Bontekoe, Terry and others to the East Indies and Australia, in addition to the accounts of Pietro della Valle in the Near-East and Anthony Jenkinson's trip to Muscovy.

The library of the Ducs de la Rochefoucauld at Chateau La Roche-Guyon was one of the great French private collections: its particular strengths - in voyage accounts, as well as in literature, politics and economics - reflected the central position of the family in French public and literary life. The library later played a central part in the cultural life of the prominent Enlightenment figure the Duchesse d'Enville: "there and in her hôtel in Paris, she established herself as an important Enlightenment figure in her own right. Her salon was frequented by a who's who of Enlightenment society: authors, politicians, princes and philosophes from France and abroad, including the Scot Adam Smith, the Englishman Arthur Young, and the future King Gustav III of Sweden. Among her correspondents was the great Voltaire himself. As a matter of course, she continued to expand the library that now bears her name, and she ordered the construction of the room in the castle that housed it…" (Kathie Coblentz, 'The Ghost Library of the Château de La Roche-Guyon', online resource).

Provenance: From the library of the Duc de la Rochefoucauld (inscribed "Rochefoucauld" and with the small library-stamp); Sotheby's Monaco, 9 Dec 1987, Bibliothèque du Château de La Roche-Guyon, lot 899; private collection (Sydney).

Davidson, 'A Book Collector's Notes', pp. 28-9; Landwehr, 258; Sabin, 95333; Schilder, 'Australia Unveiled', map 85; Sabin, 95333; Tooley, 'Australia', 23, 25.

Condition Report: A wormhole in lower inner margins of some 100 leaves clear of text (but touching one of the maps of Indostan); forecorner of one leaf (pp.15/16 of the Voyage de Edouard Terri) torn away without loss of text; wear to head and tail of spine, short splits to joints but the binding firm.

Price (AUD): $60,000.00

US$43,631.28   Other currencies

Ref: #5000383

Condition Report