Lot 401 of 613:
Octavo edition of Vancouver's Voyages 1801  

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Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyers Premium):$3,600
$3,000 - $5,000

A Voyage of Discovery to the North Pacific Ocean, and Round the World; In Which the Coast of North-west America has been carefully examined and accurately surveyed. Undertaken by His Majesty's Command, Principally with a View to Ascertain the Existence of Any Navigable Communication between the North Pacific and North Atlantic Oceans...

Vancouver, George


John Stockdale



6 volumes. 28, [33]-410; [2], 418; [2], 435; [2], 417; [2], 454; [2], 412 + [2] ad pp. With 2 folding copper-engraved charts; 17 folding copper-engraved plates; engraved by Landseer & others after W. Alexander, most from sketches made "on the spot" by Sykes, Heddington & others. (8vo) 21x13 cm (8¼x5"), period mottled calf, Volume 1 rebacked with original spine laid down, modern red morocco lettering pieces, marbled edges. First Octavo Edition.

First octavo edition of one of the most significant voyages of exploration aimed at the Northwest coast of North America, delineating its bays, rivers and other features with far more accuracy than had hitherto been accomplished. Streeter, describing the first edition of 1798, three quarto volumes with a folio atlas, goes on at some length: "This narrative is one of the most important accounts of the exploration of the Pacific Northwest and New Zealand, and valuable source information about Tahiti and the Hawaiian Islands in the last decade of the eighteenth century. Cowan considered the account to be superior to any of its kind and the chief authority on the areas explored during this period. Vancouver (1758-1798) was an extraordinarily capable explorer, having sailed with Cook on the second and third voyages (1772-4, 1776-80) and served under Rodney and Alan Gardner. It was Gardner who recommended him for a voyage in search for a northwest passage to the Great Lakes. The present narrative is the complete account of that voyage, accompanied by an atlas of maps and views of the areas explored. Vancouver died on May 10, 1798, his brother John completing the task of preparing and editing the narrative. Among the important features of the narrative are the engraved views...of the Mission of San Carlos and the Presidio of Monterey, probably the first published views of California. It is possible that the artist sailing with La Perouse, who visited Monterey in 1786, drew a sketch of the Mission, but no views of California scenery appear in the La Perouse atlas." Howes is of the opinion that "of all modern exploring voyages to the Pacific those of Cook, La Perouse and Vancouver were the most important," and Hill holds out that "This voyage became one of the most important ever made in the interests of geographical knowledge." Cowan p.654-5; Forbes 335; Hill, Pacific Voyages, pp.304; Howes V23; Sabin 98441; Streeter Sale 3497.

Lot Amendments

Edges rubbed; large folding chart with several splits along folds and with multiple repairs on verso; some foxing to plates; else very good.

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