Voyages: A Catalogue from Australia
Item 32 is A Discourse upon some improvements of the Means for Preserving the Health of Mariners, as presented to the British Royal Society, Sir John Pringle, editor. Cook, a leader unusually concerned for the welfare of his men, and who lost surprisingly few on his voyages, had experimented with foods to find a diet that would prevent scurvy. Preventing this scourge of seamen was a major factor in opening the seas to greater exploration. The address to the Royal Society describing his cure was given by Pringle rather than Cook as the latter had already sailed on his third and final voyage.
This rare first edition from 1776 includes Pringle’s address, Cook’s paper, and a letter from Cook to Pringle. AU$72,500 or US$51,149.
Item 70 could interest French, Spanish, Italian, and American collectors. It is Auguste Duhaut-Cilly’s recounting of his voyage of the 1820s. Duhaut-Cilly was a Frenchman who visited Spanish America, specifically, California, and was one of the earliest non-Spaniards to describe the settlements. This edition, the second following the extremely rare first in French, was published in Italian. This second edition includes observations by Dr. Botta, the ship’s doctor, not included with the first. Oddly, the book was not translated into English contemporaneously. It is one of the books in the famed Zamorano 80 list prized by California collectors. AU$8,250, US$5,820.
Item 102 is Jean de La Perouse’s A Voyage Round the World in the Years 1785-1788, most likely the first English edition, from 1798. This is an account of La Perouse’s mysterious and tragic voyage that ended near what is today Australia. La Perouse was sent by France to learn more about the American northwest and the fur trade, explore the Pacific coast of Asia and Australia, learn about whaling in the southern ocean, and look for a Northwest passage from the Pacific side. Like Cook, he did not find such a passage, but he proceeded to visit the Russian coast and then sailed on to Australia. After exchanging pleasantries at Botany Bay in January 1788, La Perouse and his two ships departed, and despite numerous attempts, no trace was seen of them for another forty years. Fortunately, La Perouse made a habit of sending his observations home whenever he could, which he did from Russia by dispatching a member of the expedition overland to France. AU$8,000, US$5,644.
Jacques Labillardiere was one of those who unsuccessfully sought to find La Perouse. His Voyage in Search of La Perouse published in 1800 is his account of that search. He circumnavigated Australia twice and added much to the world’s scientific knowledge of the area, but he never found La Perouse. This is one of the first English editions of the account of this 1791 expedition. Item 106. AU$2,850. US$2,011.
Item 110 is a first French edition of the personal journey of the sole survivor of La Perouse’s voyage. Young Jean de Lesseps was the courier left off in Russia by La Perouse to bring his journals home. This is his tale of a difficult journey across Russia and back to France. AU$3,600, US$2,540.