FIRST MENTION OF THE AURORA AUSTRALIS



JUAN [Y SANTACILLA], Don George, and Don Antoine de ULLOA [Y DE LA TORRE GIRAL]. VOYAGE HISTORIQUE DE L'AMERIQUE MERIDIONALE FAIT PAR ORDRE DU ROI D'ESPAGNE ... OUVRAGE ORNE DES FIGURES, PLANS ET CARTES NECESSAIRES. ET QUI CONTIENT UNE HISTOIRE DE YNCAS DU PEROU, ET LES OBSERVATIONS ASTRONOMIQUES & PHYSIQUES, FAITES POR DETERMINER LA FIGURE & LA GRANDEUR DE LA TERRE. 2 VOLUMES. Amsterdam & Liepzig: Arkstée & Merkus, 1752. First edition in French. [22], 554; 316, [6], 309, [3] pp. 4to., original gilt ruled calf, raised bands, gilt leather spine labels (title label detached, laid in for Vol. I). Originally published in Madrid in 1748. Two engraved frontispieces and 54 engraved maps, plans and views (on 53 leaves), most folding, in excellent condition. Marbled edges and endpapers. Joints cracked, leather worn, spines and corners chipped, ink annotation to top board of Volume I. Personal bookplates to pastedowns. Occasional pencil annotations. Plate VX in Vol. I has been hand-colored (volcano and aurora). Plate XXIX in Vol. II is annotated in colored pencil. Some plates are heavily offset; a few have a discreet owner's inkstamp to reverse, not showing through. Needs rebinding. Attached to a French expedition to South America organized by the Académie des Sciences, Ulloa and Juan were "two of the most scientific" officers of the Spanish Navy (Sabin); having discovered together the element platinum by 1744.The purpose of the trip was to measure the degree of longitude in the equatorial region of Peru. The second volume is largely devoted to the Incas and their culture. The work also contains the earliest reference to the "aurora australis." Verplanck Colvin's copy with his pencil notes. Verplanck Colvin (1847-1920) was a lawyer and topographical engineer whose understanding and appreciation for the environment of the Adirondack Mountains led to the creation of New York's Forest Preserve and the Adirondack Park. Sabin 36812, Cox II

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