GAIMARD, Paul [editor]. Voyage en Islande et au Groenland publié par ordre du Roi sous la direction de M. Paul Gaimard. Atlas historique. Paris, Firmin Didot for Arthus Bertrand, .
Imperial folio (528 x 370 mm), two volumes. Contemporary (publisher's?) morocco-backed pebble-grained cloth, spines with raised bands and lettered in gilt, front cover lettered in gilt, marbled end papers; pp. [vi, title with lithographic vignette], tinted lithographic title, lithographic portrait of the Gaimard on China; [vi, title with lithographic vignette], 149 superb lithographic plates, mainly after A. Mayer (numbered 1-143, 2 bis, 45 bis, 122 bis, 123 bis, 131 bis and 139 bis], extremities of the bindings worn; internally sporadic browning or foxing, a few marginal traces of humidity, rarely affecting the images; provenance: both front covers letterd in gilt, marking this set as a gift by Mr Eydoux, titles with contemporary French stamps of a religious college, shelfmarks in upper outer corners of titles.
First edition of the magnificent atlas historique documenting the landscape, geology, social life and artifacts of Iceland (including a few plates on Greenland) as the published result of the extensive state funded exploration of the Northern Atlantic on board the La Recherche under the command of Tréhouart in search of the lost ship La Lilloise in 1835 and 1836.
The French naturalist Paul Gaimard (1793-1858) paid his first visit to Iceland in the summer of 1835 and returned the following summer at the head of a scientific expedition lavishly funded and outfitted by the French government. This expedition organized by the Commission scientifique de Islande et de Groënland consisted of a physicist and cartographer, Victor Lottin, the linguist and writer Xavier Marmier, the artist and draughtsman of most of the plates of the work, Auguste Mayer, the geologist Eugène Robert, among other scientists, craftsmen, and sailors. The complete documentation of the scientific results in illustrations and text volumes took ten years, whilst Gaimard undertook more scientific jouneys. Auguste Mayer was a celebrated maritime artist, who participated in several Arctic voyages and perfectly suited to capture the atmosphere of Iceland, with mists, geysers and the light effects created by the sea, the glaciers and the Northern sunshine.
Fiske p. 172, Chadenat, 5061, Brunet II, 1443; Sabin 26330; Lauridsen I, 144.