"[Lot of 2] Homme du Cap de Diemen [on sheet with] Enfant du Cap de Diemen [and] Homme du Cap de Diemen [on sheet with] Finau, Chef des Guerriers de Tongatabou", La Perouse, Comte Jean F. Galoup, de
Subject: Prints - Natives, Tasmania & Tonga
Period: 1799 (circa)
Publication: Atlas du Voyage a la Recherche de la Perouse
Color: Black & White
15.5 x 9.8 inches
39.4 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 lot includes four engravings depicting natives of Tasmania and Tonga on two sheets. The first sheet features the profiles of a Tasmanian man and child. On the second sheet, there are portraits of a Tasmanian man and a Tongan warrior chief. The drawings are by Jean Hubert Piron, and the engraving work on the first sheet is credited to Copia.
Nice impressions on watermarked sheets with minor scattered foxing and soiling in the blank margins.