Lot 23 of 222:
Early Scientific Voyage to California 1772  

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Lot closed - unsold
$1,500 - $2,000

A voyage to California, to observe the transit of Venus. By Mons. Chappe d'Auteroche. With an historical description of the author's route through Mexico, and the natural history of that province. Also, a voyage to Newfoundland and Sallee, to make experiments on Mr. Le Roy's time keepers. By Monsieur de Cassini

Chappe d'Auteroche, Jean


Edward and Charles Dilly



[8], 215 pp. Folding copper-engraved plan of Mexico City. Half-title present. (8vo) 21.5x13 cm (8½x5"), modern dark red morocco by Birdsall, spine with raised bands, gilt lettering; marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. First Edition in English.

With the heraldic bookplate of Bradford Murphey. English edition of one of the earliest scientific expeditions to California, sent out by the French government much to the consternation and suspicion of the Spanish, spurring the dispatch of Gaspar de Portolá in 1769 and hastening settlement of Upper California. Being an account of the travels of the French astronomer Jean Chappe D'Auteroche (1722-1769) to Mexico in 1769 to view the Transit of Venus from San Jose del Cabo, on the tip of the Baja California peninsula. Chappe's account includes interesting descriptions of Vera Cruz and their overland journey across Mexico to the Sea of Cortez. Upon reaching San Jose, Chappe and almost all of his expedition died from fever; only one member made it back to Paris, with Chappe's notes and observations. This narrative, first published in French in 1772, was edited by Chappe's colleague, César Cassini de Thury. 

Lot Amendments

Light rubbing to joints and extremities; darkening to endpaper edges; else fine.

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