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Le Neptune Francois

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Le Neptune Francois : P. Mortier

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Le Neptune Francois : P. Mortier

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A pair of beautifully coloured and finely engraved title pages from a splendid publication. 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 ...” with large scale and detailed charts was published by the Mortier brothers in Amsterdam. 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. This is an early edition, retaining the Fleur-de-lis emblem and signed by engraver Jan Van Vranen. The “Neptune ...” was augmented by one of the most elaborate sets of charts entitled “Atlas Maritime” ever produced, engraved by master etcher Romeyn De Hooghe and with a titlepage dated 1693. This titlepiece has the title on a plinth within a coastal scene remarkable for the surrounding array of mythological and contemporary figures. References to the Aeniad and the superiority of the seas aided by accurate charts and a dedication to the British King William III are supported by fantastic figures. These two fine examples of the engravers’ art are in lovely original colour heightened with gold highlights.
region: Title Pages
mapmaker: P. Mortier  
place and date of publication: Amsterdam 1694
medium and colour: Copperplate, Original colour
size in mm: 495 by 360mm (19.5 by 14.25 inches).
ref: 43772
literature: Courtiers and Cannibals 71

Price: £ 1600

 
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