Medal commemorating the first voyage of Duperrey to the Pacific. Louis XVIII. D:50mm.

About extremely fine.

Obverse: profile portrait of Louis XVIII.

Reverse: ‘Voyage autour du Monde de la Corvette la Coquille’.

Paris, Andrieu & de Puymaurin.

SKU SF000696 Category


Duperrey’s voyage was one of the greatest of the French grands voyages to the Pacific. The expedition set out from Toulon on 11 August 1822, with the intention of collecting scientific data and specimens, but was also instructed to report on the possibility of establishing a penal colony in Western Australia. Duperrey, who was thirty-five at the start of the voyage, had been on the crew of the previous major French Pacific voyage – that of Freycinet. He had as his second-in command Dumont d’Urville, who was to become the most experienced French commander in the Pacific. While science led the expedition, there was also an unspoken goal of discovering where France might carve out an empire in the South Pacific.

His voyage was of some 73,000 miles with major destinations including Australia, New Zealand, and New Guinea. By far the greatest contributions of the expedition were scientific, cartographic and ethnographic, and the Duperrey voyage account is a famously sumptuous production, with exquisite coloured plates.
The only similar medal in any Australian collection appears to be an example of this bronze version in the Rex Nan Kivell collection of the National Library of Australia.

Additional information