Phipps' Voyage to the North Pole

    Constantine John Phipps. A Voyage towards the North Pole Undertaken by His Majesty's Command 1773. London: Printed by W. Bowyer and J. Nichols, for J. Nourse, 1774. First edition. Large quarto. viii, 253 [last numbered page a folding table], [1] directions to the bookbinder] pages. With eleven tables, some folding, three folding engraved maps by W. Palmer, J. Cheevers (after P. D'Auvergne), and J. Russell, and twelve engraved plates, most double or folding, by Mason, Pouncey, Sparrow, P.C. Canot, W. Byrne, Bayly, and J. Caldwall, after Clevely, Ph. D'Auvergne, W. Pars, and Barnes.

    Full calf with rules, floral devices and dentelles stamped in gilt. Titles and decoration stamped in six compartments between five raised bands. Some light wear to the edges of the boards. Marbled endpapers and all edges marbled. Lacks half-title page. Contents virtually free of defect with only the lightest occasional foxing. Overall, a superb copy in fine condition.

    "In 1773 [Phipps] commanded the Racehorse, which, in company with the Carcass, was fitted out to attempt the discovery of a northern route to India. The expedition sailed to the north of Spitzbergen, and, finding the sea absolutely blocked with ice, returned without any result. The voyage is now principally remembered from the fact that [Horatio] Nelson was a midshipman on board the Carcass" (D.N.B.). "This work is an important addition to early nautical science in the polar regions. Besides a journal of the voyage, it contains a descriptive catalog of the natural history and resources of Spitsbergen. This is the official account written by Phipps himself, who later was created Lord Mulgrave" (Hill).

    D.N.B. Hill I, p. 207. Sabin 62572.

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