Lot 354
  • 354

Dalrymple, Alexander

10,000 - 15,000 GBP
18,750 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Dalrymple, Alexander
  • An Historical Collection of the Several Voyages and Discoveries in the South Pacific Ocean. London: for the Author, 1769-1771
  • paper
FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE, 2 volumes in one, 4to (262 x 200mm.), (vol.1) xxx, ii, 24, 24, 204pp., [iv pp. errata], 3 folding maps, 1 plate; (vol.2) [iv], 224 [i.e.124], 20, [xxiv] pp., [xliv pp. index], folding map, 11 plates, together a total of 4 maps and 12 plates, 2 half-titles, contemporary speckled calf, tear in one chart neatly repaired, occasional slight soiling and slight dampstaining, rebacked with the original spine and red label, binding slightly rubbed and marked

"Dalrymple's interest moved to the hypothetical southern continent in 1776 and 1777, so as to develop his knowledge of Southeast Asia and the Pacific, in order to continue his pursuit of China trade, on which he been snubbed by the East India Company in 1765 and 1766" (Andrew Cook).

"An Historical Collection was intended to stir up enthusiasm for the project of discovering and exploring the great southern continent (Terra Australis Incognita)... Although most of the first volume is composed of narratives of Spanish explorers of the South Pacific, Dalrymple also included navigational information on the South Seas and the Solomon Islands, and some of his own observations of the natural curiosities of Sulu... The narrative included, among others, the voyages of Magellan, Ferdinand Grijalva, Juan Fernandes (whom Dalrymple identified as the discoverer of the great southern continent), Adelanto Alvarado Mendana de Neyras, and Pedro Fernandez de Quiroz. Dalrymple did not wish for or anticipate a British conquest of the new continent. His vision of British oceanic expansion was based on trade rather than conquest and colonization... The second volume was devoted to Dutch voyagers [and] includes accounts of the voyages of Le Mair and Schouten in 1616, Abel Janszoon Tasman in 1642, and Jacob Roggeswein in 1722" (Speake, Literature of Travel and Exploration, p.306).

"This first issue of 1769 is exceedingly rare, and there are only a few copies extant. The regular trade edition was issued in 1770 [see lot 355]. The second volume, printed in 1771, is exactly the same in both sets. However, the two issues of the first volume have different title pages and preliminary materials. The dedication in the present issue, dated April 1, 1769, includes a thinly disguised attack on Captain Samuel Wallis, in which Dalrymple used the phrase "who left the arms of a calypso." In the 1770 issue, dated Jan. 1, 1770, that phrase was changed to "who, infatuated with female blandishments, forgot for what he went aboard" (Hill).


Samuel Enderby senior (1717, or later - 1797, whale and seal oil merchant and promoter of Antarctic exploration), bookplate of a harpooner with white hair [Enderby Jr.'s bookplate has the harpooner with black hair; see his copy of Hunter's Historical Journal (lot 657)]; Mme. de Cornouaille, signature


Cook A11-12; Hill (2004) 409