Description

    Bound with the Rare "Philipine" Plate

    John Meares. Voyages Made in the Years 1788 and 1789 from China to the North West Coast of America. To which are prefixed, an introductory narrative of a voyage performed in 1786, from Bengal, in the ship Nootka; observations on the probable existence of a north west passage; and some account of the trade between the north west coast of America and China; and the latter country and Great Britain... London: Printed at the Logographic Press; and sold by J. Walter..., 1790.

    First edition. Large quarto. viii, [12], xcv, [1, errata], 372, [108] pages. Stipple and soft ground frontispiece portrait by C. Bestland after W. Beechey, ten maps and plans and seventeen plates (including two other stipple portraits, one line and the remainder aquatints). Bound with the "Views of the Land on the Philipine Islands" plate facing p. 17 (as per Howes, although usually lacking).

    Full period-style straight-grain brown morocco, covers ruled in gilt and with floriate corner pieces, gilt panelled spine compartments with central devices, gilt spine lettering. An excellent copy, very clean and crisp.

    "John Meares [1756?-1809] was sent out in 1786 from Calcutta, by a group of merchants, to enter into the fur trade of the northwest coast of America. Establishing himself at Nootka Sound...he built the first vessel to be launched in northern waters, made important discoveries, and explored the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The discoveries by Meares were part of the basis for the claim of Great Britain to Oregon. Competition with the Spanish almost caused war between the two countries...The Spanish seizure of his ships led to the convention by which the Spanish claims to any northern territory were finally disallowed. This important narrative gives a very full account of the Indian nations of Northwest America, describing their villages, languages, manners, and customs. It also contains a separate account of the voyage of the Iphegenia, commanded by Captain William Douglas, who visited the Sandwich Islands and Nootka Sound" (Hill).

    "According to the British Museum Catalogue, William Combe assisted Meares in the compilation of the work. John Walter, the printer and publisher of this book, was the founder of The Times" (Abbey). Several references cite variations with regard to the plates, Streeter noting the extra plate of the Philippines as missing in most copies.

    Abbey, Travel, 594. Cordier, Sinica, III, col. 2103. Cox II, p. 29. Hill I, pages. 195-196. Howes M469. Lust 344. Sabin 47260. Streeter VI, 3491. Taylor p. 197.


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    Auction Dates
    June, 2010
    8th-9th Tuesday-Wednesday
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