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This folio, first edition engraving is from Jacques Julien Houton de Labillardiere’s Relation du Voyage à la Recherche de La Pérouse. The work was published in Paris by Dabo in 1800. The illustrations were after the work of Piron and two of the better natural history artists Pierre-Joseph Redouté and John-Baptiste Audebert.
This work was the published account of the search for the crash of La Perouse. “No news had been received for three years respecting the ships Boussole and Astrilabe., commanded by M. de la Pérouse … [it was decided to send out a search expedition with the secondary aim of] making inquiries relative to the sciences and to commerce. Rear-Admiral Bruny D’Entrecasteaux received command of the expedition which consisted of two ships of about five hundred tons burden [La Recherche and L’Espérance] … Proceeding via the cape of Good Hope to Tasmania, extensive investigations of its coastline were made. New Caledonia, the Solomon Islands, the Admiralty Islands, Tonga, New Britain and other groups were visited, but … no trace of the missing navigator was found … the expedition made several important contributions to geographical knowledge, and the investigations of the natruralists into productions of countries visited were of special value” (Ferguson).