Freycinet Collection

Tuesday 01 September 2020

This week Dr Kate looks at a collection that is widely acknowledged as one of the State Library's treasures – the Freycinet Collection.

 The Freycinet Collection comprises of eighteen items including drawings, engravings and watercolours made during and after two nineteenth-century French maritime expeditions led by Nicholas Baudin from 1800 to 1804 and Louis de Freycinet from 1817 to 1820.

As well as including some of the first depictions of West Australian flora and fauna, the Freycinet Collection includes the first known cartographic depictions of a number of West Australian locations, as well as the first depictions of a white woman in Western Australia – Louis’ new wife Rose, who stowed away on board the Uranie.

Watercolour image of Shark Bay


ACC 5907A/4: Watercolour and ink drawing of Shark Bay, showing Rose de Freycinet, as observed from the Uranie, by J. Alphonse Pellion

First Map of the Swan River


ACC 5907A/1: Chart of the Swan River by Francois-Antoine Boniface Heirisson, 1801 

The Freycinet Collection was purchased at auction at Christie's in London by the State Library Custodians in September 2002. Search the catalogue to view high-resolution digital copies of items in the Freycinet Collection and to view other stories online.

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Last updated on: 7 September 2020