Voyage a la Côte Occidentale d’Afrique Fait dans les années 1786 et 1787; Contenant la description des moeurs, usages, lois, gouvernement et commerce des Etats du Congo, fréquentés par les Européens, et un précis de la traite des noirs, ainsi qu'elle avait lieu avant la Révolution française; Suivi d'un Voyage fait au cap de Bonne-Espérance, contenant la description militaire de cette colonie.
Author: Degrandpré, Louis Marie Joseph Year: 1801 Edition: First edition Publisher: Paris; Dentu Category: Africa West Price: € 2,500.-
Full contemporary sprinkled calf, 8vo., 2 volumes. Volume 1: pp.1, (1), 32, xxvi, 226 and volume 2: pp. 320, 12 (ads).
Marbled endpapers, spines richly gilt tooled and ruled in compartments, with red and green title labels in respectively the second and fourth compartments.
Volume 1 contains a folding map, 4 folding plates and 3 large folding plates. Volume 2 contains a large folding plate, a folding plan of the castle of Good Hope and a very large folding plan of the Cape.
Light rubbing to extremities, light foxing in the margins only of a few plates, some very short, closed tears in the inner margins of some plates, but overall a very nice, clean set.
Louis Marie Joseph Comte O’Hier de Grandpré was born May 7th 1761 at St.-Malo and died in Paris in 1846. He was educated at the Collège de Rennes. In the years 1786/87 he went on a trade mission to West Africa. To be useful from a scientific view as well he had studied natural history, geometry and physics. Once in Africa he closely observed not only the nature and products of the region, but also he described the manners and customs of the indigenous people and collected information about the slave trade as well. In 1789/90 he visited India, but made no new discoveries there.
Mendelssohn I, p. 431-2:
The first volume deals mainly with Angola, Loango, Malembe, Cabende, and other countries on the west coast of Africa; while the second volume is, for the greater part, devoted to an account of the Cape of Good Hope, at this period. Mr. Theal (“History of South Africa, 1691-1795”) attaches much importance to this publication, and observes that “ the author was a man of keen observation and of extensive reading . . . . His description of the Cape is of a period just before the first English conquest of the colony, though it was written after that event.” Degrandpré severely criticises the cruelty of the Dutch to the aborigines, and remarks that " they will always have to blush before intelligent people for having destroyed the Hottentot nation, and for repeating in the extreme south of Africa the sanguinary scenes committed by Spain in America." He further says that when the Hottentots could not offer them sufficient victims, they attacked the Bushmen.
Chadenat calls for four maps and plans, however, probably this is an error as all copies that appeared on the market in the last decades all had only three. Possibly he followed Gay 3075: "Grandpré. le comte Louis de,... ...11 grav. et pl. de la citadelle du Cap ..." (taken by reference as well).
Beyond doubt a very attractive set.
Chadenat 6253, Gay 3014 and 3075, Joucla p. 84, Mendelssohn I, p. 431-2.