Paris: Didot, 1746-1761. First edition. A significant collection, which includes accounts of many early voyages. It includes accounts of all the principal early Australian voyages as well as an account of the discovery of Australia by the Dutch including Roggeveen's voyage to the Terres Australes (this features the great Bellin map with the hypothetical east coast of Australia.) "Particularly full accounts are given of the Dutch and the French voyages to the East Indies, voyages to China, and the British East India Company's voyages to India and Ceylon" (Hill).
The Pacific voyages include those of Magellan, Schouten, and Le Maire, Drake, Sarmiento, Cavendish, Spilbergen, Narborough, Rogers, Cowley, Frezier, and Anson. Other world voyages include African voyages, the early Portuguese and English voyages to West Africa and the Cape of Good Hope, with a general account of the Dutch at the Cape.
The set of 17 volumes includes the first 15 volumes and a general index numbered volume XVI, titled "Table Alphabetique des Matieres Contenues dans les XV Volume de l'Histoire Générale des Voyages." In this volume, an early owner has listed his own index of the maps and their positions. Volume XVII is a supplementary volume entitled 'Suite de l'Histoire Générale des Voyages', and contains accounts of the Dutch East Indies. The last two volumes & index numbered XVIII, XIX & XX, were brought out in subsequent years with a slightly different title "Continuation de l'Histoire Générale des Voyages". These recount Arctic voyages to Iceland, Jan Mayen, Siberia, Russia; Greenland and Kamchatka. They are not included here.
Hill (2004) 1391 (2004); Spence 936 (20 vol. quarto edition); Brunet IV 868; Cox I,p.32; Sabin 65402.
The first edition, issued in quarto. The titles are printed in red and black, an engraved portrait of the editor, 335 engraved maps, plans and plates, many folding including 108 maps of Africa, 129 of Asia, 81 of the Americas. The text and maps are in very good condition, without foxing. The volumes retain their original marbled endpapers and have not been tampered with. Contemporary mottled calf bindings, spines gilt in compartments with morocco labels. The bindings are lightly rubbed with some splitting along the hinges, but all covers solidly attached. A very appealing set. Item #11953