Auction 135, Lot 637

"Carte Generale des Decouvertes faites en 1787 dans les Mers de Chine et de Tartarie…", La Perouse, Comte Jean F. Galoup, de

Subject: Eastern Asia

Period: 1787-1797 (published)

Publication: Atlas du Voyage de la Perouse

Color: Black & White

19.3 x 26.5 inches
49 x 67.3 cm

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 is a finely engraved, large-scale chart showing the track of La Perouse's expedition in ships Boussole and Astrolabe, sailing from the Manila Bay to Taiwan (Formosa), past Korea through the Sea of Japan to explore the coast of China and briefly approaching a cape in western Japan. The expedition finally sails past Hokkaido and the Kuril islands to arrive in southern Kamchatka on September 16, 1787.


Condition: A

The crisp impression is on a full sheet of clean, bright paper with very wide, original margins. Deckle edged paper on right side. Flawless except for a short marginal tear at left that has been professionally closed. Two very tiny worm holes only visible when held up to light.

Estimate: $300 - $400

Sold for: $200

Closed on 2/16/2011