THE LINDA HALL LIBRARY HISTORY OF SCIENCE COLLECTION
Voyage of Laplace 1830-1832
Laplace visited Manila and then sailed south out of the China
Sea around the east point of Java, and continued south off the
west coast of Australia. Sailing around that continent (stopping
at Tasmania), he then anchored on its east coast at Port Jackson
and made a voyage to New Zealand, his jumping off point for
crossing the Pacific Ocean. Arriving at Valparaiso, the expedition
continued around South America’s Cape Horn to Rio de Janiero
and north across the Atlantic Ocean back to Europe.
de l’Inde [Indian Civet] (Vietnam)
above three images are from Voyage Autour
du Monde par les Mers de l’Inde et de Chine.
Imprimerie Royale, 1833-3.
These three specimens
from the Laplace expedition serve to highlight the early part
of the voyage, the area explored following its main mission,
and its way homeward bound. The kingfisher was found on islands
off the north coast of Madagascar; the naturalists declared
that they knew of no other example exactly like it. The genet
was acquired in the environs of Da Nang; the naturalists describe
it as an adult male "with a strong, somewhat agreeable
odor". (The genet is related to the civet, one
source for the musk fragrance used in perfumes). The naturalists
found this genet specimen to be similar to those taken from
the coast of Malabar in southwest India. The South American
toucan was the first of its kind to be added to a European collection,
differing from specimens described by John Gould. Like the other
specimens acquired during the voyage of the Favorite,
these were added to the Museum of Natural History in Paris.