Baudin's voyage to Australia sells for $32k

A collection of books originally held by the Northern Lighthouse Board sold for a total of £314,800 at a Lyon & Turnbull auction in Edinburgh on January 13, 2010.  

The proceeds of the sale went to the
Northern Lighthouse Heritage Trust

The proceeds of the sale will assist the recently established Northern Lighthouse Heritage Trust in its charitable aims and will include helping with the ongoing upkeep of a library, much of which was collected by the Commissioners of Northern Lighthouses up to the mid 19th Century.

The collection included a first edition of the account of Nicolas Baudin's voyage to Australia published in 1815, sold for £32,000 and a rare copy of a map of Australia by Matthew Flinders which sold for £14,000.

He was famously commissioned by the British government in 1801 to chart the coast of the new land of Australia. It took him three years.

However it took eleven more years before the book was published as Flinders was first shipwrecked on the Great Barrier Reef and then held captive by the French in Mauritius - who thought he was a spy - as a prisoner of war. He finally returned to England with his journals and maps intact in 1810.

He suffered from ill health and died in 1814 on the day his books were published. The books were presented to him on his deathbed.

Nicolas Baudin's voyage to Australia, 1815 (£32k)

"This excellent result will mean that The Trustees will have funds to pay for the care and conservation of books within our library, along with other historical artefacts in our care," said Peter Mackay, a trustee from the Northern Lighthouse Heritage Trust .

The collection also included works by Capt. James Cook which sold for £10,000, Bruni d'Entrecasteaux, (£12,000), by William Scores (£1,400), and Capt. George Vancouver (£19,000). 

"This is a great result for the Trust, it is rare that a collection of 18th & 19th century travel books, depicting some of  histories' great voyages from the exotic climes of Indonesia and Australasia to those closer to home come up for sale," said Alex Dove, book specialist at  Lyon & Turnbull.


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