Weekly Auctions of Exceptional Items
Log In
lots of lots
Lot 0047
Author: Burney, James
Title: A Chronological History of the Discoveries in the South Sea or Pacific Ocean...
Place Published: London
Publisher:G. & W. Nicol, et al.
Date Published: 1803-1817

5 volumes. [2], xii, [8], 391; v, [11], 482; [10], 437, xviii, 580; vii, [1], 337 pp. With 41 copper-engraved maps & plates, many folding; 6 sketch maps in the text. (4to) 31.2x25 cm (12¼x9¾"), period tree calf rebacked with later calf, retaining original morocco spine labels, marbled boards, top edges gilt. First Edition.

Tipped in is a presentation letter to Lord of the Admiralty Henry Dundas 1st Viscount Melville dated June 30th 1804 "Captain Burney begs leave to return his thanks to Lord Melville for the early notice taken of his letter; and takes the liberty of sending a book, which may tend to show that Capt. Burney, when not employed in his profession, has not been unmindful to its interests, in his attention, to the Science of Maritime Geography". Complete set of Burney's comprehensive work, with the full complement of plates and maps. Hill calls it the "most important general history of early South Sea discoveries, containing practically everything of importance on the subject; collected from all sources, with the most important remarks concerning them, by Captain Burney, who was a great authority on the subject. Many of the early voyages to California would be inaccessible were they not herein collected. Burney accompanied Captain Cook on his second and third voyages. His access to the London literary world served to enhance the style of his great work, in which he carried the story of Pacific discovery from its beginning through the period just prior to Cook's first voyage. The work is dedicated to Sir Joseph Banks." Hill 221; Howes B1002; Sabin 9387.


Rubbing to edges and corners; some dampstains in margins, light foxing, mild wave to some leaves; pp. 1-334 in Volume IV printed on slightly smaller paper stock and left untrimmed at fore-edge, a few ill-creased maps, a few repaired leaves including on map repaired from reverse; very good or better.

Buyer's Premium

  • 25%

Burney's Pacific Discoveries w/ presentation letter

Estimate $10,000 - $15,000Sep 19
PBA Galleriesbadge TOP RATED
Berkeley, CA, USA