Catalog Archive
Auction 130, Lot 242

"Plan du Port de St. Francois, Situe sur la Cote de la Californie…", La Perouse, Comte Jean F. Galoup, de

Subject: San Francisco, California

Period: 1797 (published)

Publication: Atlas du Voyage de La Perouse

Color: Hand Color

13 x 19.3 inches
33 x 49 cm
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Jean-Francois de Galoup, Comte de La Perouse commanded a French scientific expedition to the Pacific in 1785-88. Recognized as one the foremost naval commanders and navigators in France, he was selected by King Louis XVI to complete Captain James Cook's exploration of the western Pacific. The British Admiralty provided scientific equipment to measure variations in magnetic compass readings and with the latest instruments for determining longitude. La Perouse explored the coasts of the Gulf of Alaska and northwestern North America in search of the fabled Northwest Passage. After leaving America his expedition continued on to Asia where he explored from Macao to Kamchatka and the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific. La Perouse was meticulous in sending copies of his extensive logs, maps and surveying information via other ships as well as overland. La Perouse's last contact was in the spring of 1788 with a British ship in Botany Bay, Australia. The expedition was never heard from again. Considered one of the greatest French voyages, the French Government decided to publish the story of the expedition when it became clear they had been lost. An English edition was published in London.

This uncommon chart is one of the earliest obtainable maps of San Francisco Bay. La Perouse sailed the California coast in 1786 before setting out for the Philippines on his fateful expedition. His map was based on Dalrymple's map of 1789 with information derived from Spanish sources including Josef Camacho and Jose de Canizares. The map includes 21 place names, including Alcatraz and the Presidio.

References: Wagner (NW) #846.

Condition: B+

There is a small stain at lower right.

Estimate: $700 - $800

Sold for: $500

Closed on 12/2/2009