A rare early work on the geology of Iceland

Robert, E. [Gaimard]

Voyage en Islande et au Groënland executé pendant les années 1835 et 1836 sur la corvette La Recherche commandée par M. Tréhouart Lieutenant de Vaisseau dans le but de découvrir les traces de La Lilloise. Publié par ordre du Roi sous la direction de M. Paul Gaimard président de la Commission Scientifique d'Islande et de Groënland. Minéralogie et géologie.

Published 1838-1840
Item ID 66638
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Paris, Arthus Bertrand, 1838-1840. Two parts in one. Large 8vo (22.7 x 15.1 cm). Title page (to the text, dated 1840), xi, 469 pp.; second title page (to the atlas, dated 1838), [ii] pp., 36 lithographed plates. Contemporary quarter morocco over marbled boards. Spine rich gilt. Marbled endpapers. Speckled edges.

A very rare work by the French geologist Eugène Robert (1806-1882) on the geology of, mainly, Iceland with fine lithographed plates of volcanos, glaciers, and other geological features. Robert was perhaps the first to observe the geology of Iceland with a trained scientific eye. He is perhaps better known for his other "northern" geological work, which formed part of the Voyages de la Commission Scientifique du Nord en Scandinavie, en Laponie, au Spitzberg et aux Feroë (1852), but the Iceland part is much rarer, not appearing in Ward & Carozzi, who do list the later, 1852 work (as from 1845, with a query) and wrongly recorded 1879 as the year of his death. The title page mentions another goal of the expedition, namely to trace another French research vessel, the Lilloise, which vanished in 1833 in the waters between Greenland and Iceland. This part of the expedition was unsuccessful and it is still a mystery how, when, and where the Lilloise disappeared. Small old stamp on the title pages and plate versos (not shining through). Unobtrusive, very light traces of off-setting to about five plates, otherwise a very good, clean copy. Nissen ZBI, 1468 (under Gaimard). Cat. BM(NH) p. 607 (under France, Commission Scientifique du Nord); Ward and Carozzi, 1885-1886 (not this work).

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