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Important description of the South Africa interior, with 9 hand-coloured plates (7 showing indigenous Africans)

LE VAILLANT, François.
Voyage de Monsieur Le Vaillant dans l'intérieur de l'Afrique.
Paris, Leroy (colophon vol. 2: printed by Lottin l'aîné & Lottin), 1790. 2 volumes. 8vo. With the publisher's woodcut device on each title-page, engraved frontispiece, 2 folding engraved views and 9 numbered engraved plates (7 costume figures of indigenous Africans and 2 illustrations of giraffes).With the 9 numbered plates coloured by a contemporary hand. Contemporary half calf, richly gold-tooled flat spines. XXIV, 383; 403 pp.
€ 1,950
First edition (in octavo: a quarto edition appeared simultaneously) of Le Vaillant's account of his first expedition into the interior of South Africa. Le Vaillant (1753-1824) embarked on a first excursion on 18 December 1781, advancing as far as the Great Fish River. After returning to Cape Town, he undertook a second excursion during which he travelled beyond the Orange River. His engaging narrative of the expedition contains valuable ornithological information and interesting notes on the peoples he encountered, including the Khoikhoi ("Hottentots") and the Xhosas. Plate VII, a portrait of a naked "Hottentote" woman that was later suppressed, is present here and the censors have not tampered with it. The octavo edition is typographically superior to the quarto edition.
In very good condition. The bindings are also very good, with only minor signs of wear. A landmark voyage to the South African interior, with 7 iconic costume portraits of indigenous Africans, coloured by hand. Gay, Bibl. de l'Afrique et de l'Arabie 3118; cf. Mendelssohn I, p. 889 (4to ed. of 1790); Rookmaker, pp. 177-271.
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Africa  >  Cartography & Exploration | East & Southern Africa | Natural History
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Cartography & exploration  >  Africa | Anthroplogy & Ethnography | Voyages & Travel