MORELET, A. Voyage dans l’Amérique centrale, l’ile de Cuba et le Yucatan ….. Tome Premier [- Tome Second.] Paris, Gide et J. Baudry, 1857. With 2 pages of music, a very large folding lithographed map of Yucatan, Guatemala and Cuba, coloured in outline, each chapter headed by a nice wood-engraved illustration. Two volumes in one. , 337, [3, blank, table, blank] pp.;  323, [3, Note sur la Carte du Voyage, table, blank] pp. Large 8vo. Contemporary half hard-grained morocco, spine with raised bands, all edges gilt.
Chadenat 2706 (“Ouvrage recherché et devenu rare”); Sabin 50591; Howgego, 1800-1850, M56; not in Leclerc; not in Muller.
First edition of this important account of a voyage to Central America and Cuba by the French naturalist and traveller Pierre-Marie-Arthur Morelet (1809-1892).
“In 1846 Morelet visited isolated regions of Guatemala and Yucatan which had not been described for many years” (Howgego). He was the first to explore the vast territory of Guatemala, which was inhabited by the Itzas and the Locadons, describing his observations and experiences extensively.
Morelet begins with the description of his voyage from France to Central America and his first expeditions into the tropics, other chapters are devoted to Cuba, Havana and the Isla de Juventud (Isle of Pines), Guatemala, the indigenous populations, ancient ruins (Palenque), forests, mountains, lagoons, as well as other extensive geographical, ethnological and archeological observations. At the end of volume two, pages 316-319, in his report to the Paris Académie des Sciences (February 1850), Morelet indicated he had deposited at the museum 90 plants, 150 species of molluscs which were described for the first time, 32 unknown fish species, 104 reptiles, 70 birds and 57 mammals. – A very nice copy of this scarce work.