1797 La Perouse Large Original Antique Map of Australia, America & The Pacific

Cartographer : Jean Francois La Perouse

  • Title : Carte Du Grand Ocean ou Mer du Sud Dressee pour la Relation du Voyage de Decouvertes faites par les Fregates Francaises la Boussole et l Astrolabe dans les Annees 1785, 86, 87 et 88
  • Size: 29 1/2in x 23in (750mm x 585mm)
  • Ref #:  82004
  • Date : 1797
  • Condition: (A+) Fine Condition

This large original, antique & important map of Australia, America and The Pacific illustrating the exploration of Jean-Francois de Galaup, Comte de La Perouse, after Captain Cook, was engraved by the famous French engraver Pierre Tardieu and was published after La Perouse, in Paris, 1797.

In 1783 the French government appointed La Perouse in command of an expedition to the Pacific to complete Captain James Cook\'s unfinished work, and in particular to explore the passages in the Bering Sea, which had been a mystery to Europeans since the 16th century. In command of two ships, La Boussole and L Astrolabe he made for Brazil on the 1st of August 1785. Rounding Cape Horn he refitted in Chile, then sailed to the Hawaiian Islands (Sandwich Islands) and onto Alaska, where he turned south exploring and surveying the NW coast as far as California. After a short refit at Monterey California, he sailed across the Pacific, discovered many uncharted islands, and visited Macao and Manila.
After six weeks re provisioning, he left on 10 April 1787 to survey the coasts and territories north of Korea, which had been described by Christian missionaries. He sailed up the Gulf of Tartary, naming several points on both its shores and learned that Sakhalin was an island. In September he put in to Kamchatka to replenish his supplies. From there he turned south making for Australia (New Holland). In December, at Tutuila, Samoa, which Bougainville had called the Navigator Islands when he explored them in 1768, natives suddenly attacked a party from L Astrolabe, seeking water. La Perouse left without taking reprisals and sailed through the Pacific Islands to Norfolk Island and to Botany Bay. He was sighted off the coast there on 24 January 1788 but bad weather prevented his entering the bay for two days. La Perouse established a camp at Botany Bay on the northern shore, now named after him. After his six-week stay he sailed on 10 March and was not heard of again.

General Definitions:
Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy and stable
Paper color : - off white
Age of map color: -
Colors used: -
General color appearance: -
Paper size: - 29 1/2in x 23in (750mm x 585mm)
Plate size: - 29 1/2in x 23in (750mm x 585mm)
Margins: - Min 1in (25mm)

Margins: - None
Plate area: - None
Verso: - None

The map highlights La Perouse\'s Voyage from France, around Cape Horn, then to Hawaii and the Northwest Coast of America, south to Oregon, San Francisco and Monterey, then across the Pacific Ocean to Canton, through the Philippines to the Sea of Japan and the Northern Japanese Islands, then to Kamchatka.
From Kamchatka, La Perouse proceeded to the South Pacific and finally to Port Jackson and Botany Bay, where he met his untimely death. The map displays the most up to date cartography, especially along the Northwest Coast of America, Northeast Coast of Asia, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific.
La Perouse arrived in Botany Bay in 1788, where he was welcomed by the British and stayed six weeks, during which time he arranged for his records to be sent back to Europe. He then set sail, saying he would be back in Paris by June 1789, but none of his crew were ever seen again. In 1826 evidence of the fate of the expedition was found on Vanikoro in the Santa Cruz group of islands. In 2005, it was proved the Boussole and Astrolabe had hit the reefs there and sank.
La Perouse\'s voyage is perhaps second only to the Voyages of James Cook for its impact on cartographic knowledge and discoveries in the Pacific during the second half of the 18th Century.