Lot 166 of 305:
Vancouver's Voyage, 1st edition with Atlas  

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Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyers Premium):$33,000
$25,000 - $35,000

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; and Performed in the Years 1790, 1791, 1792, 1793, 1794, and 1795, in the Discovery Sloop of War, and Armed Tender Chatham, under the Command of Captain George Vancouver

Vancouver, George


G.G. & J. Robinson, & J. Edwards


3 volumes + Atlas. [14], xxix, [3], 432; [10], 504; [10], 505, [3] pp. Illustrated with 17 copper-engraved plates & 1 copper-engraved chart; atlas with 10 folding copper-engraved charts & 6 copper-engraved plates with profile & coastal views. Text volumes are 4to, 32x24 cm. (12½x9½"), period quarter calf & marbled boards, morocco lettering pieces, page edges untrimmed; atlas is folio, 55x43 (21¾x17"), early 20th century ¾ gilt-ruled morocco & marbled boards. First Edition. First edition, including the atlas, of one of the great accounts of Pacific exploration, rivaling the works of Cook and La Perouse. Streeter writes that "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 in Volume II 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," Hill holds out that "This voyage became one of the most important ever made in the interests of geographical knowledge," and Lada-Mocarski states emphatically that "this is one of the most important voyages for the history and the cartography of the northwest coast in general and of Alaska in particular." The engraved views were drawn by William Alexander from sketches made on the spot by expedition members. Cowan p.654-5; Forbes 298; Hill, Pacific Voyages, pp.303-4; Hill (2nd Ed.) 1753; Howes V23; Lada-Mocarski 55; Sabin 98441; Streeter Sale 3497; Tweney 78; Wagner N.W.C. p.209 et seq.; Zamorano Eighty 77. Provenance: John M. McClelland, Jr.

Lot Amendments

Text volumes with rubbing and wear to spines, Vol. III with vertical crack, Vol. I front joint repaired, Vols. II and III with front joints cracking, covers nearly detached; plates in the text volumes with faint foxing/discoloration to margins, light offset from or to the text; some folding charts in the atlas with short splits and darkening at folds; else very good, the text volumes in original, untrimmed state.

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