Sea Life

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Atlas zoologique du Voyage autour du monde des corvettes l'Uranie et la Physicienne pendant les années 1817, 1818, 1819 et 1820

This originally hand-colored engraving is from Louis-Claude de Saulces de Freycinet’s Atlas zoologique du Voyage autour du monde des corvettes l’Uranie et la Physicienne pendant les années 1817, 1818, 1819 et 1820. The work was published in Paris by Langlois in 1824.

This work was the official account of Freycinet’s voyage of scientific exploration. His voyage was one of the most important French 19th century circumnavigations of the globe. Many zoological and botanical specimens were collected on the voyage by naturalist-surgeons: Jospeh Paul Gaimard and Jean Rene Constant Quoy. Freycinet also smuggled his wife, Rose, on board the ship making it the first time a woman circumanvigated the globe.

“This later circumnavigation by Captain Freycinet was organized by the French government, under the recently restored Bourbon Dynasty, to show the flag around the world and to make scientific observations on geography, magnetism, and meteorology. It was one of the important voyages of exploration of the early nineteenth century. The URANIE sailed from Toulon to Gibraltar, Tenerife, Rio de Janeiro, Cape of Good Hope, Mascarene Islands, Western Australia, Timor, New Guinea, the Mariana Islands, Caroline Islands, Sandwich Islands, New South Wales, New Zealand, Tierra del Fuego, and the Falkland Islands, where the URANIE was shipwrecked in French Bay….The ship’s doctors, Quoy and Gaimard, and the pharmacist Gaudichaud served as the naturalists, collected specimens, and published separate volumes on zoology and botany. Freycinet was clandestinely accompanied by his wife, Rose, after whom he named an island in the Samoan chain….The scientific results of Freycinet’s explorations in Timor, the islands off New Guinea, the Marianas, and Hawaii were particularly significant and added greatly to the fund of knowledge that the Europeans had of the geography, cultures, and histories of these areas. The writings on the penal colony of Port Jackson, Australia, are of special historic importance” – Hill. The voyage included a one-month visit in the Sandwich Islands, with time spent in Hawaii, Maui, and Oahu, as well as visits to Rio de Janeiro, Cape of Good Hope, Montevideo, Mauritius, New South Wales, and the Caroline Islands. The handsome plates in the atlases, many of which are colored, add greatly to the ethnographic and natural historical aspect of the work.” (Ferguson 941, Hill 649, Sabin 25916, Forbes 602)

“The Uranie, with a crew of 123 men, entered the Pacific from the West to make scientific observations on geography, magnetism, and meteorology… the expedition… visited most notably Australia, the Hawaiian Islands, Tonga, and Tierra del Fuego. The original ship, wrecked off the Falkland Islands, was replaced by the Physicienne which visited Rio de Janeiro. Captain… Freycinet’s wife, Rose, was smuggled on board at the advent of the voyage and made the complete journey, causing a great deal of discord among the crew. Freycinet named an island he discovered after her–Rose Island among the Samoa Islands.” (Hill pp.9-10)

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