PERON, Francis; Louis Claude de Saulces de FREYCINET; and Nicholas BAUDIN
Voyage de Decouvertes aux Terres Aaustrales Execute ar ordre de sa Majeste l'Empereur et Roi, sur les Corvettes le Geographe, le Naturaliste, et la Goelette la Casuarina, pendant les annee 1800, 1802, 1803 et 1804.
Paris: L'Imprimerie Imperiale, 1807/11/16. Two quarto volumes plus folio atlas, bound in one volume, consisting of the following: 1) Voyage de Decouvertes...Historique. Two volumes. Engraved portrait in volume two. Three folding tables. 2) Partie Historique Atlas. Two parts bound in one. Engraved title for each part. First part contains forty plates including map, five colored coastal profiles, fourteen ethnographic plates (eight colored), eight other views (one of which is colored, and two folding, including Lesueur's view of Sydney), eleven natural history plates (nine colored) and one technical plate. Second part contains fourteen maps (two double-page or folding).
Uniformly bound in half antique calf and later 19th-century marbled boards, spines gilt, leather labels. An occasional fox mark in both text volumes. Plates and maps in atlas volume all pristine. Overall a remarkably clean and near fine set, untrimmed
The very rare account of the Baudin-Freycinet expedition, one of the most important early explorations of Australia. The expedition was sent out by the French government in 1800 with orders to complete the cartographic survey of the Australian coast. Commanded by Nicolas Baudin, the expedition left France in 1800 and sailed via Mauritius to the Australian coast in the region of Cape Leeuwin, arriving in May 1801. Peron sailed as naturalist on the expedition and Freycinet as cartographer. The vessels, Geographe and Naturaliste, sailed north from Cape Leeuwin, surveying the coast and making observations on the natural history and inhabitants, until they crossed to Timor. After three months the two ships set out for Tasmania, continued making detailed surveys, and went on to Sydney. The group then undertook a complete survey of the southern coast and an examination of the northern coast before returning to Mauritius where, near the end of 1803, Baudin died. It was a celebrated voyage which brought back to France the most important collection of natural history specimens in the history of the French Museum, as well as a wealth of geographical and other information. ^The narrative of the expedition was begun by Peron, and completed by Freycinet after Peron's death. A tacit agreement between Peron and Freycinet, both of whom disliked Baudin, kept the commander's name mostly absent from the present official account of the expedition. Flinders completed his survey of the Australian coast before Baudin, but his imprisonment by the French in Mauritius for seven years resulted in the French exploration account being published first. Consequently, the Baudin-Freycinet narrative includes the first complete and fully detailed map of the Australian continent. It is justly one of the most famous depictions of Australia ever produced, with virtually the entire southern coast labeled "Terre Napolean," indicating possible French colonial ambitions. The ... Historique Atlas contains a group of beautiful color plates, mostly of natural history specimens, many of which depict what the French saw during their important visit to Tasmania. The navigational text and atlas, which was issued separately a few years later, is rarely found together with the narrative section.
A most important Pacific voyage account.
Ferguson 449,536; Dunmore, French Explorers in the Pacific II, pp.9-40; Wantrup 78a,79a; Hill, pp.229-30 (narrative volumes only); Davidson, Book Collector's Notes , pp.108-10; Sharp, Discovery of Australia , pp.232-39; Plomley, The Baudin Expedition and the Tasmanian Aborigines 1802.