SONNERAT, PIERRE. 1748-1814.
Voyage aux Indes Orientales et a la Chine, fait par ordre du roi, depuis 1774 jusqu'en 1781. Paris: Chez l'Auteur, Froule, Nyon, Barrois, 1782.
2 volumes. 4to (261 x 189 mm). [xvi], 317, ; viii, 298 pp. List of subscribers bound in vol 2 following title page, half titles lacking. 140 plate engravings, including several double page, after Sonnerat. Period calf. Scattered light spotting, a few plates and leaves toned, top edge shaved touching several page numerals, occasional offsetting, minor loss to two or three corners, hinges of vol 1 starting with tear to inner margin of final page, rear hinge of vol 2 weak, upper cover of vol 2 detached along with f.f.e.p. and title, edgewear to covers.
Provenance: W.W. Rockhill (armorial bookplate).
FIRST EDITION of a "celebrated classic of natural history exploration and discoveries in the Far East" (Hill), the fruit of Sonnerat's travels to the Maldives, Ceylon, the Phillipines, China, Burma, Madagascar, the Cape of Good Hope and elsewhere. A "much less desirable" (ibid) octavo edition was published in the same year. Hill p 578; Nissen IVB 886.