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Voyages Pittoresques dans les Quatre Parties du Monde, ou troisième édition de l'encyclopédie des voyages, contenant les costumes des principaux peuples de l'Europe, de l'Asie, de l'Afrique, de l'Amérique, et des Sauvages de la mer du Sud
Paris: Veuve Hocquart, 1806. Two volumes, small quarto, with six folding maps coloured in outline and a splendid series of 160 handcoloured aquatint costume plates (including frontispieces to each of the four sections); a fine uncut copy with generous margins in contemporary half crimson morocco and glazed boards; pleasing contemporary ownership stamp on two leaves at start of each volume. A fine set of this colourful work on peoples of the world and their costumes. The wonderful series of 160 coloured plates includes nine plates depicting peoples of the Pacific islands and Kamchatka derived from the published voyage accounts of James Cook.The coloured plates are by Lachaussée and Mixelle after drawings by Grasset de Saint-Sauveur; the four frontispieces feature idealised maidens representing Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas. Most of the vibrantly handcoloured aquatint plates depict two figures, male and female, dressed in the native costume of their lands. Of special interest are the plates of Pacific peoples, including Tahiti, Hawaii, Palau, New Zealand, Tanna and the Marquesas (including the island of Saint-Christine). The Kamchatka plate also derives from Cook's third voyage account.Bernard Smith discusses the importance of Saint-Sauveur's costume studies in disseminating impressions of exotic lands, especially the Pacific islands: 'The engravings published in Cook's Voyages provided new visual information about many previously unknown peoples, and greatly enlarged Europe's knowledge of the family of man. Dr. Joppien has shown how important encyclopaedias of costume and 'gallery of man' books were in this process of popular dissemination. But as artists copied the engravings so they altered them still further in the direction of European pre-conceptions, the anthropological and ethnographic intentions of the originals being diverted increasingly to fulfil the demands of taste and the intrinsic needs of decoration.' (European Vision and the South Pacific p. 113).Born in Montreal in 1757, Jacques Grasset de Saint-Sauveur was a French diplomat who served in Egypt amongst other postings. A prolific author and illustrator, he made a long career of studying and depicting the costumes and habits of the peoples of the world, and consistently derived his work from published voyage accounts including those of Cook, La Pérouse, Wilson and other celebrated voyagers. He died in Paris in 1810, his lifetime coinciding with a unprecedented age of discovery in the Pacific.Saint-Sauveur openly acknowledged his use of voyage accounts as they added authenticity to his depictions of exotic peoples. Overall 18 pages of text accompany the Pacific plates in Voyages Pittoresques; these descriptions are rich in references to well-known explorers such as Cook as well as less prominent figures such as Mendana, the Forsters, and Marchand.Published in 1806, Voyages Pittoresques is derived from Saint-Sauveur's successful Encyclopédie des Voyages of 1794. It was issued in parts; Forbes describes the copy held by the Turnbull Library with the original wrappers for one such separately sold part bound in (and priced at 3 francs), while the six maps were likewise issued discretely in printed wrappers.This particularly attractive example of this colourful and picturesque work, in an excellent French binding of the period, has the attractive library stamps at start of each volume of Achille Hippolyte Gentil, French senator and for sixteen years president of the Conseil Général.
      [Bookseller: Hordern House Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2017-06-22           Check availability:      IOBABooks    

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