Auction 139, Lot 223

"Vue du Mouillage des Fregates Francaises a Lile de Mowee", La Perouse, Comte Jean F. Galoup, de

Subject: Hawaii

Period: 1786 (circa)

Publication: Altas du Voyage de la Perouse

Color: Black & White

15.8 x 9.8 inches
40.1 x 24.9 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 an impressive view of La Perouse's brief visit to Hawaii, shown here in a bay off the southern shore of Maui which now bears his name. While La Perouse spent less than 48 hours in Hawaii, he was interested in exploring sections of the islands not covered by Cook, as the French and English competed for prestige in exploratory voyages. Shown in this view is La Perouse's ship surrounded by numerous outriggers, with a few settlements shown in the background. Engraved by Avril.

References: Fitzpatrick #9.

Condition: A

Dark impression with wide original margins. There is some very faint creasing and the edges of the sheet are slightly tattered, else very good.

Estimate: $300 - $500

Sold for: $650

Closed on 2/15/2012