2 Morisot, Cl. extensive naval history / Virtual Book Fair 106


Description: First extensive naval history with 44 engraved maps & illustrations

MORISOT, Claude Barthélemy.
Orbis Maritimi sive Rerum in Mari et Littoribus Gestarum Generalis Historia: in qua inventiones navium, earundem partes, armamenta. Instructiones classium, navigationes, prælia maritima, arma, stratagemata ...

Dijon, Pierre Palliot, 1643. 2 parts in 1 volume. Folio (36 x 22 cm). Contemporary calf, gold-tooled spine, red-sprinkled edges, new endpapers.
With a letterpress title-page in red and black, an engraved title-page in an architectural frame with allegorical figures and a seascape with ships, engraved by Nicolas Spirinx, 1 folding engraved view of a Roman naumachia in a flooded amphitheatre, 23 engraved maps and 20 other engraved illustrations in the text. Further with a woodcut headpiece, numerous woodcut decorated initials and decorations built-up from cast fleurons. [22], 725, [19] pp.

First and only edition of the first extensive naval and maritime history, here in its second issue with the dedication to Louis XIII replaced by the rarer one (dated 27 March 1643, although Louis died only on 14 May) to Pierre Seguier (1588-1672), chancellor of France. It is divided into two parts of fifty chapters each. The first part covers ancient times (to the great discoveries of the Renaissance), emphasizing the many naval battles, but also presenting the development of navigation and geography. The second part covers recent voyages of discovery and topographical description, drawing on numerous naval and maritime sources, including travel journals by European explorers. It includes numerous details of the voyages of Gerard de Veer in the Arctic, Thomas Cavendish, Sir Walter Raleigh, Le Moine in Florida, Thomas Hariot, and the exploration of the southern seas and islands by Magellan, Le Maire, Bernard Jantz, Sebalt de Wert and others. Part 1 includes Ptolemaic maps of the ancient world, while part 2 includes maps of North America, South America, the Strait of Magellan, Asia, Africa and Europe, based on those of Johann Theodor de Bry and others. The other engraved illustrations depict antique coins and medals, and ancient and modern vessels. The book is also a valuable source for naval architecture. The folding plate (31 x 44.5 cm) depicts an ancient Roman naumachia (staged sea battle) with about two-dozen ships in a flooded amphitheatre. Pages 592 to 608 describe North and South America, and pages 609 to 612 the islands around South America, New Guinea, Solomon Islands and "Terræ Australis."
Morisot (1592-1661), one of the great intellectuals of his day, is known from several erudite publications, the present being the most important. He corresponded with many leading European academics, using this network to collect materials for his books, adding much to their diverse and encyclopaedic qualities. In this way his Orbis Maritimi, the first major work on naval history, reflects his intellectual contacts. An extensive illustrated encyclopaedia of maritime and especially naval history.

Only minor browning and a small tear affecting a few words of text in one leaf; one map is printed upside down; binding rubbed and restored. A very good copy, with generous margins.
Alden & Landis. 643/85; Borba de Moraes, pp. 597-598; Bosch 98; JCB II, pp. 307-308; Goldsmith, STC BMC, M-1482; James Ford Bell Lib., M-444; Leclerc 393; Cat. NHSM I, p. 567; Nordenskiöld 152; Polak 10650; Rodrigues 1715; Sabin 50723; Cooper, Scott Coll. 86; Kebabian, Taylor Coll. 333; Wagner, Cartography of the Northwest, pp. 126-127; not in Pastoureau; Phillips & LeGear.
  • Number: 1060209
  • Dealer: Speculum Orbis Nauticum