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Le Neptune Francois 1. Volume

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Le Neptune Francois 1. Volume : A. H. Jaillot / P. Mortier

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One of the finest engraved title pages from one of the finest atlas publications of any period. The "Atlas Francois" and "Le Neptune François ou receuil des cartes marines" were compiled by Frenchman Alexis-Hubert Jaillot, 1632-1712, based on the cartography of that country's leading mapmaker of the mid-seveneenth century, Nicolas Sanson. Each atlas was highly regarded and a pirated version of "Le Neptune ..." was published by the Mortier brothers in Amsterdam. Accurate maritime charts were eagerly sought after in this period since they ensured a voyage would be safe and profitable. This lavish production was one of the most famous created in this period with charts of the coasts of Britain and Europe, and subsequently further flung regions. The magnificent and elaborate frontispiece of the atlas features Neptune riding a seashell-shaped chariot drawn by four hippocampi, mythical creatures with the upper body of a horse and the lower body of a fish. The god of the sea is escorted by tritons, who command the waves by blowing their conch shells. In the background, an armada sails to war amid cannon fire and lightning. The French and Dutch editions were separate albeit virtually identical engravings. The former signed by engraver Berrin, the Dutch by van Vianen. This is a later example with the replacement of the fleur-de-lis at top centre and an added stamp of the 'Depot De La Marine RF'. Overall a fine engraving with small area of surface wear and discolouration.
region: Title Pages
mapmakers: A. H. Jaillot   P. Mortier  
place and date of publication: Paris 1693 - c.1795
medium and colour: Copperplate, Uncoloured
size in mm: 505 by 365mm (20 by 14.25 inches).
ref: 43762

Price: £ 320

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