4to (305 x 240mm), pp. [i]-x (dedication, verso blank, title, verso blank, address to the dedicatee), [2 (index)], [i]-viii (preface), [2 (errata, verso blank)], 150 (p. 72 misnumbered ‘48’), [2 (index)]; 78 engraved plates [after Georg Forster], numbered 1-38, 38a-38b, 39-51, 51a, 52-75 (23 bound upside-down); some light spotting and occasional marking, deckles dusty, small marginal stain affecting some ll.; contemporary [?original] paper-backed blue boards, uncut, a few quires unopened; a little marked, rubbed, scuffed, and bumped, skilfully rebacked retaining paper spine, endpapers replaced, nonetheless a very crisp, uncut copy, retaining the errata leaf; provenance: [?]early 20th-century pressmark label on spine.
US $7028 €5720
First edition. Johann Reinhold Forster (1729-1798) and his son Georg Forster (1754-1794) travelled on Cook’s second voyage of 1772-1775 as naturalists, and their Characteres generum plantarum was the first botanical work about the voyage to be published and one of the earliest sources for European knowledge of the plants of Polynesia and Australasia – indeed, ‘it has been said to be the foundation of our knowledge of New Zealand, Antarctic, and Polynesian vegetation’ (Hill). As Henrey explains, ‘[t]he work is botanically important as containing a large number of new generic and specific names relating to plants of Australasia and Polynesia. It appears that in the preparation of this undertaking the Forsters were able to use the fine natural history library belonging to Sir Joseph Banks, and to seek the advice of his librarian Daniel Carl Solander. Furthermore, they had free access to the Banks and Solander collections made on Cook’s first voyage [...] to the Pacific, and to Solander’s manuscripts’ (II, p. 167).
The descriptions of the plants were by Anders Sparrman (1748-1820), a Swedish botanist and student of Linnaeus, who travelled with Cook; the illustrations were by Georg Forster (who was elected a fellow of the Royal Society on the basis of this work); and the book’s publication was overseen by Johann Reinhold Forster. A folio edition of eight copies followed this first, quarto edition later in 1776, of which some copies are misdated 1775 on the title-page (Stafleu & Cowan, apparently mistakenly, treat these as two separate editions).
Beddie 1385; BM(NH) II, p. 596 (erroneously calling for only 75 plates); Henrey 718; Hill 627; Hocken 2013; Holmes 17; Hunt 649; Kroepelien 463; Nissen, BBI, 644 (erroneously calling for only 75 plates); O’Reilly and Reitman 2469; Pritzel 2981 (erroneously calling for only 75 plates); Rosove 139a (‘very scarce’); Sabin 25134 (‘Forms part of a complete set of Cook’s voyages’; erroneously calling for only 75 plates); Stafleu & Cowan 1826.
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AN INSCRIBED COPY OF ESTRIDGE’S RARE, PHOTOGRAPHICALLY-ILLUSTRATED ACCOUNT OF THE SEYCHELLES ESTRIDGE, Henry Watley.
Six Years in Seychelles; with Photographs from Original Drawings.
First edition. Following a period in the army, Estridge (1837-1902) was appointed Collector of Customs at Mahé in the Seychelles (probably in 1880), and held the position until 1885, when he returned to England. In 1886 he took up the position of Receiver and Accountant-General, British Bechuanaland (and was elected a fellow of the Royal Colonial Institute in the same year), remaining in the country until 1888, when he retired to England.
TAVERNIER, Jean Baptiste.
Recüeil de plusieurs relations et traitez singuliers et curieux . . . qui n’ont point esté mis dans ses six premiers voyages. Divisé en cinq paties [sic]. I. Une relation du Japon, et de la cause de la persecution des Chrestiens dans ses isles: avec la carte du païs. II. Relation de ce qui s’est passé dans la negociation des deputez qui ont esté en Perse et aux Indes, tant de la part du roy, que de la Compagnie Françoise, pour l’establissement du commerce. III. Observations sur le commerce des Indes Orientales, et sur les frauds qui s’y peuvent commetre. IV. Relation nouvelle et singuliere du royaume de Tunquin: avec plusieurs figures et la carte du païs. V. Histoire de la conduite des Hollandois en Asie.
First edition, separately published, of the third part of Tavernier’s celebrated collection of voyages. The first two parts, Les six voyages, had appeared in 1676 and were also reissued in 1679.