Sale 624 Lot 21

* BLIGH, William (1754-1817). A Voyage to the South Sea, undertaken by command of His Majesty, for the purpose of Conveying the Bread-Fruit Tree to the West Indies, in His Majesty's Ship the Bounty. London: Printed for George Nicol, 1792.

4to (270 x 221 mm). Engraved frontispiece portrait, 3 engraved plates (2 folding), 4 engraved maps and charts 3 folding). (Some minor offsetting or browning.) Contemporary sheep-backed boards (spine skinned and restored preserving original backstrip and label, boards rubbed); blue slipcase.

FIRST EDITION OF "ONE OF THE MOST REMARKABLE INCIDENTS IN THE WHOLE OF MARITIME HISTORY" (Hill). Following a request by West Indian merchants to George III, Sir Joseph Banks recommended that the Admiralty fit out the Bounty for a voyage to collect bread-fruit trees from Tahiti for shipment to the West Indies. Banks also recommended Lieutenant Bligh as commander of the voyage on which Fletcher Christian sailed as Master's Mate. Reaching Cape Horn in 1787 and encountering fierce head winds, Bligh retreated across the South Atlantic to round the Cape of Good Hope and sail south to Australia and New Zealand to Tahiti. This is the first official account of the voyage and mutiny, edited from Bligh's journals by James Burney under the supervision of Sir Joseph Banks while Bligh was on his second bread-fruit voyage. The year of publication also marked the court-martial proceedings against fourteen returned mutineers, three of whom were hanged. Ferguson 125; Hill 135; Kroepelien 93; NMM 1:624; Sabin 5910.

Estimate $10,000-15,000

Provenance: Ranfurly (bookplate); Charles B. Driscoll, (bookplate; his sale, Christie's East, 2000); Wichita City Library Driscoll Piracy Collection (bookplate).

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