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Antonio de Ulloa, George Juan

Voyage Historique de L'Amerique Meridionale fait par Ordre du Roi D'Espagne / A Voyage to South America made by the order of the King of Spain

Arkste'e & Merkus


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First French edition of Ulloa and Juan's report of the first geodesic mission to the equator.

  • Sold as a set of 2.
  • Antonio de Ulloa (Spanish).
  • George Juan (Spanish).
  • Amsterdam & Leipzig: Arkste'e & Merkus, 1752. 
  • [xxii], 554; [ii], 316, [vi], [viii], [3]-309, [iii] pages.
  • Quarto.
  • All 55 plates present, although some are loose and kept in a folder that contains plates XII, XXIA, VIII, XXII, XXV, VI, XXIB, XVIII, XVII, XX, XXVI, XXXII, XXIX, XXXIII, XXXVII, XXXV, as well as three unnumbered maps, including the large folding map of the pacific coast.
  • Volume 1 has plates I-V, X, IX, XI, XIII-XVI, XXIV, XXIII bound in.
  • Volume 2 has plates XXXI, XXVII, XXVIII, XXX, XXXIV, XXXVIII, XXXIX, XLVI, XL, XLI, XLIII, XLIV, XLV bound in, as well as eight unnumbered plates from page 213 through 231.
  • Bound in quarter leather with black pattered paper-covered boards.

Sabin 36812: "Some copies of this French translation have the imprint, Paris: Charles Antoine Jombert. M DCCLII: this has given rise to the idea that an edition was printed there, which is not the case; there is merely a change in the title. The translator was M. de Mauvillon."

The first major international scientific expedition, it served to measure an arc measurement to infer the Earth's radius. Additionally, they "tapped" into local knowledge and became the first Europeans to discover and scientifically document rubber tapping (and thus rubber) as well as identifying the correct type of cinchona tree that produces the active form of quinine (an important anti-malarial agent). Antonio de Ulloa described for the first time in European literature a metal he described as "platina," now known as platinum.

Condition Report

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Moderate wear, including splitting to hinges, rubbing and scuffing to boards.

Some bookworm damage throughout, primarily towards beginnings and ends of volumes with some damage to plates.

Private purple library stamp is intermittent throughout both volumes, with over twenty uses.

Some of the scientific plates at the end of volume 2 browned.




Travel, topography and voyages

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