Paris: Gide, 1853. Two exquisite stipple engravings with period hand color of the koala bear, as well as the koala skeleton, from Dumont D'Urville's "Voyage au Pole Sud et Dans l'Oceanie..."
The French voyages in this period benefited from the French expansive world view, that saw artists & scientists accompanying the sailors on French voyages of exploration, recording scientific detail and assembling natural history collections. Jules Dumont D'Urville visited Australia twice, 1826-29 & 1837-40. His account of the second voyage was published in 1842 (text volumes); 1846 (atlas) and 1853 (natural history plates). At no time during Dumont D'Urville's second voyage did they visit a koala habitat in Australia (they visited the attempted settlement at Port Essington in Northern Australia, Torres Strait and Tasmania) so it is conjectured that this drawing was perhaps made during the first voyage of 1826-29.
Image 41 x 28 cm with large margins. With the blind-stamp "GIDE Editeur Paris" below the plate mark. Plate 17 and 17A from the "Mammiferes" section. Exceptionally clean copies, with a hint of foxing in one spot, mostly in the margins.
A wonderful paring, and rare. Item #18840