PÉRON, François, 1775-1810; FREYCINET, Louis Claude Desaulses de, 1779-1842; LESUEUR, Charles Alexandre, 1778-1846; PETIT, Nicolas-Martin, 1777-1804
Voyage de découvertes aux terres Australes. Exécuté par ordre de sa Majesté l’Empereur et Roi, sur les corvettes le Géographe, le Naturaliste, et la goélette le Casuarina, pendant les années 1800, 1801, 1802, 1803 et 1804.
Rare set of the regular account of the Baudin expedition to the Terres Australes, the text volumes in publisher’s wrappers, with the plates presented in both coloured and uncoloured states. One of the most important and famous descriptions of Australia ever published, it also contains the first published complete and fully detailed map of Australia, Freycinet’s Carte générale de la Nouvelle Hollande, along with many significant charts of the southern Australian coastline (“Terre Napoléon”), superb ethnographical and natural history plates by Nicolas-Martin Petit, and a magnificent topographical view of Sydney by Charles Alexandre Lesueur.
Paris : De L’Imprimerie Impériale, 1807 – 1816 – 1807 – 1811. Four volumes, quarto (in two sizes) of the Partie Historique of the Baudin expedition, complete in itself (the Partie Navigation et Geographie was published separately). The two quarto volumes that comprise the narrative text are in the publisher’s original pink paper wrappers with paper labels to spines (slightly faded) and the two small folio volumes that comprise the historical atlas (Historique Atlas) are bound in uniform modern papered boards (joints slightly cracked); housed in two fine quarter-morocco clamshell boxes, the spines in compartments.
Historique (text). Part 1, 1807. Quarto, pp [iv half-title; title], xv, 496, [v errata; contents]; Part 2, 1816. Quarto, pp xxxii, 471, frontispiece portrait of Péron by Lambert after Lesueur engraved by Langlois; two folding tables; slight water stain to the margins of last few leaves.
Historique Atlas. Part 1, 1807. Small folio, pp [ii], 40 plates (two folding, 23 coloured and also present duplicated in uncoloured state); Part 2, 1811. Small folio, pp , 14 charts (two double-page, including the first complete map of Australia).
A fine and desirable set of the complete regular publication of the Baudin expedition; the natural history, topographical and ethnographic plates present in both coloured and uncoloured states, and the text volumes in crisp publisher’s wrappers.
Ferguson, 449; Wantrup, 79a.
Baudin’s two ships, the Géographe and the Naturaliste, left Le Havre on 19 October 1800. Having sailed for New Holland from Mauritius early in 1801, the expedition sighted Cape Leeuwin on the southwest coast of Australia on 27 May 1801. After exploring Rottnest Island and the Swan River the two ships became separated, but both continued north along the coast independently, eventually arriving in Timor in August and September.
In November 1801 the Géographe and the Naturaliste sailed south once more for Cape Leeuwin, and from there Baudin headed to Tasmania and charted much of the east coast of the island. The Naturaliste, under Hamelin, then crossed Bass Strait and surveyed Western Port, before continuing north to Port Jackson. Baudin’s ship, the Géographe, proceeded to chart the part of the southern coastline of the Australian continent known as Terre Napoleon, famously meeting Matthew Flinders at Encounter Bay in April 1802. Baudin then returned to Port Jackson by way of the southern coast of Tasmania.
From Sydney, Hamelin returned to France with the Naturaliste, while Baudin, in the Géographe, in company with a newly acquired small vessel, the Casuarina, under the command of Louis de Freycinet, continued the expedition’s hydrographic work. Baudin and Freycinet surveyed and charted King Island, Kangaroo Island, the Gulf of St. Vincent, and King George’s Sound, before travelling north along the Western Australian coast and eventually arriving at Timor early in May 1803. After again visiting the northwest coast of Australia they commenced the homeward voyage for France. Baudin, however, died en route at Mauritius, and the expedition, under the command of Milius, finally arrived at Le Havre in the Géographe in late March 1804.