Lot 12 of 235:
Duflot de Mofras 2 volumes + atlas inscribed  

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Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyers Premium):$30,000
$30,000 - $50,000

Exploration de Territoire De L'Orégon, des Californies et de la Mer Vermeille, exécutée pendant les années 1840,1841, et 1842, par M. Duflot De Mofras, Attaché à la Légation de France à Mexico; ouvrage publié par ordre de Roi...

Duflot de Mofras, Eugène


Arthus Bertrand, Éditeur



2 volumes + atlas. Text volumes: xii, [4], 524; [4], 514 pp. with 8 engraved plates, 4 in each volume, including frontispieces. (8vo) 24x15 cm (9½x5¾"), original blue printed boards. Atlas is in 5 livrasions, or fascicles, as issued, containing the half-title, title-page, table & 26 engraved plates on 19 leaves, 23 of which are maps or plans, including a large folding map hand-colored in outline. (folio) 55.2x37 cm (21¾x13½"), each fascicle with contents loose in original blue printed wrappers with printed paper labels indicating the contents of each, as issued; housed in modern custom-made cloth-backed boards portfolio. First Edition.

Rare state of the important account of Eugène Duflot du Mofras' investigative expedition to California and Oregon, the text volumes in the original boards, the atlas in the original fascicles. In addition, the text volumes are presentation copies, each volume inscribed "à Son Excellence Monsieur Le Comte Maurice de Dietrichstein hommage respectueux del auteur D. de Mofras"  in ink on the front free endpaper. They also bear the bookplates of the California Historical Society on the front pastedowns. The Hill Collection describes the work as "a historical and descriptive account of the Pacific Coast of North America. Duflot de Mofras was sent to Mexico in 1839 as French ambassador, but his special mission was to explore and evaluate the commercial possibilities of California and the Oregon Territory, in order that the French government would be better able to decide whether to become involved in the conflict over Oregon between the U.S. and Great Britain. Duflot du Mofras' work contains very little of his personal narrative. He aimed to give a complete description of the country, its past history, and its present condition. He met Lieutenant Wilkes and Sir George Simpson. Each attempted to discern from the others a sense of the future policies of their respective countries towards California... An extensive bibliography is printed in the second volume. A very rare work." The large folding map is "Carte de la côte de l'Amérique sur l'océan Pacifique septentrional comprenant le territoire de l'Orégon, les Californies, la Mer Vermeille, partie des territoires de la compagnie de la Baie d'Hudson et de l'Amérique Russe." It measures 90x57 cm. The text volumes and the atlas were purchased separately by Warren Heckrotte. He purchased the atlas at an auction at Sotheby's, beating out an absentee bid left by the late bookseller Warren Howell. Upon discovering that Mr. Heckrotte had prevailed over his bid, Mr. Howell demanded, in his imperious manner,  that Mr. Heckrotte purchase the text volumes from him, to complete the set.

Provenance: Atlas: Sotheby's NY; text: John Howell-Books

References: Hill 486. Howes D 542. L-M 120. Zamorano 80, #30. W-TW 474. Sabin 21144. Verner, Stuart-Stubbs, no 43, reproduces the general map.

Lot Amendments

Text volumes with some rubbing and extremity wear to boards, spines darkened, Vol. II with stain to spine, frontispiece of Vol. I coming loose; wrappers of the atlas fascicles with chips, tears and separations along spines, but the maps and plates clean and fine; overall in very good or better condition, rare in the original state.

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