2 volumes. lxii, , 464; vii, , 423, , 43,  +  ad pp. Translated from the French by M. Labillardière. 21x13 cm (8½x5") handsomely rebound in modern half brown cloth and marbled boards, gilt decorated spines, morocco spine labels lettered in gilt; housed in custom brown cloth slipcase with morocco spine label lettered in gilt.
First published in France in 1799-1800. This edition published without engravings. In 1791, Labillardière was appointed as a naturalist to Rear-Admiral's Bruni d'Entrecasteaux's expedition to Oceania aboard the Espérance in search of Jean-François de Galaup, comte de la Pérouse and his missing ships, the Boussole and Astrolabe. During the search Labillardière and his colleagues collected zoological, botanical and geological specimens of southwest Australia, Tasmania, the northern part of New Zealand, and the East Indies. He also described the customs and languages of the local Indigenous Australians.
After the American Revolutionary War, King Louis XVI ordered a exploring voyage to rival that of Captain Cook. De la Pérouse's expedition left France in 1785 and reached Australia in January 1788. Six weeks later both ships wrecked, hitting a coral reef off Vanikoro Island. According to the inhabitants of the Island, some surviving sailors built a two-masted boat from the wreckage of the Astrolabe and left in a westward direction a few months later. Their fate remains unknown.