d'APRES DE MANNEVILLETTE, Jean-Baptiste-Nicolas-Denis (1707-1780). Le Neptune oriental dédié au Roi. Paris: Demonville. 1775-1781.

$ 125,000.00

d'APRES DE MANNEVILLETTE, Jean-Baptiste-Nicolas-Denis (1707-1780). Le Neptune oriental dédié au Roi. Paris: Demonville, Imprimeur-Libraire de l'Académie Françoise, rue S. Severin, aux Armes de Dombes et à Brest chez Malassis, Imprimeur-Libraire de la Marine. 1775-1781.

3 volumes: text, Atlas and Supplement. Folio (22 x 16 4/8 inches; 23 x 17 2/8 inches; 26 6/8 x 20 2/8 inches). Text volume, contemporary French mottled calf gilt (scuffed); Atlas: 39 fine double-page engraved maps and 36 full-page maps numbered 1-59 including a number of duplicates, extra-illustrated with 5 manuscript maps of the area surrounding the island of Java (some soiling and creasing), 19th-century half tan calf, maroon cloth, supra-libros of the Admiralty Library on the front cover; Supplement: letterpress title-page and contents leaf. Fine folding engraved maps of the world after discoveries made by La Perouse, and 11 fine folding engraved maps and 3 full-page maps. Contemporary half red morocco, red paper boards, gilt (extremities a bit scuffed).  

Provenance: Early penciled annotations giving soundings to map of coast of Borneo; Musée de la Citadelle Vauban, their sale 16th July 2010, lot 66.  

Second edition. The additional manuscript maps are in French and English and show the area around the island of Java, particularly near Bantam, one or two are copies of portions of maps found in the Supplement.

The most interesting is an early and important ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT MAP: "A Sketch of the Ship Ponsborne's [sic] Track from North Island shewing the soundings, from thence thr'ogh the Streight of Sunda, between the Strom Rock at Po. Candang and between Tamarin and Cockatore [Krakatoa]. February 1774 (12 x 14 4/8 inches to the neat line).

The Sundra Strait connects the Java Sea to the Indian Ocean, and as such is an extremely important shipping route, in use for centuries, but especially during the period when the Dutch East India Company used it as the gateway to the Spice Islands of Indonesia (1602-1799). The strait's notorious narrowness, shallowness and lack of accurate charting make it unsuitable for many modern large ships, most of which use the Strait of Malacca instead (Freeman). The Ponsbourne was an East-Indiaman, owned by Thomas Lane and built by the Barnard family of shipbuilders.  

The Atlas volume contains the following maps:

"Carte des Côtes occidentales de France … dressée pour le Neptune oriental … par M.R. L'Abbé Dicquemare, son ami",

"Plan du Port Louis et de l'Orient",

"Levée géométriquement en 1752 par M. de ****. (Gravé par G. de la Haye)",

"Vue de la Baye de False",

"Plan de la Baye et du Port de Rio Janeiro… Levé géométriquement par Le P.Capassi. À Paris chez Dezauche, successeur des Sieurs Delisle et Philippe Buache … rue des Noyers, 1785",

"Carte réduite de l'Océan orientale qui contient la Côte d'Afrique avec l'Isle Madagascar",

"P.B.St. A levé en 1758 par Mr. G. Nichelson…",  

"Plan des îles Mahé Delahaye",  

"...qui contient une partie des Costes d'Afrique, de l'Arabie, de la Perse et celle de l'Indostan",

"Mandeb sur la Coste méridionale de l'Arabie Heureuse …",

"Carte (non numérotée) de la Coste de Guzerat du Golfe de Cambaye et des Cêtes de Concan et de Canara"

"...vues diverses de l'Isle aux Cochons",

"Carte de la Côte orientale d'Afrique depuis l'île de Patte jusques à     Mosambique",

"Carte réduite de l'Océan oriental depuis le Cap de Bonne Espérance jusqu'au Japon par D'Après. 1753".

The Supplement contains the following maps:

"Carte  reduite des Iles de France et de Bourbon... 1798" 1802,

"Plan du Port de Tintingne... du Port Louis en 1821",

"Carte Generale de la Mer Rouge" 1798 on three sheets,

"Carte du Golfe de Suez" 1798,

"Carte des Cotes de Guzerat, de Concar et de Canara",

"Carte de la Partie Meridionale de la Presque 'Isle de l'Inde que comprend l'Isle de Ceylan" 1798,

"Plan de la Baye de Manville... 1789" 1798,

"Carte d'une parite de Cours de la Riviere de Saigon",

"...des Cotes de la Cochinchine" 1798 in three sheets;

map of "l'Ocean Oriental" 1753 loosely inserted.  

d'Apres de Mannevillette, the celebrated French cartographer had a long and distinguished career in the French East India Company. He studied under the famous Guillaume Delisle, the King's geographer, and was one of the first navigators to make use of Hadley's revolutionary octant in taking measurements at sea.  During his many voyages d'Apres de Mannevillette created a number of charts for a hydrographic atlas which, with the support of the Academie des Sciences, was published in Paris in 1745 under the title "Le Neptune Oriental" with 25 maps. For the next thirty years, with the help of his friend and eminent British hydrographer Alexander Dalrymple, d'Apres de Mannevillette revised his charts for this the second and enlarged edition. This comprehensive atlas was used on all French ships, and by some foreign ones too, navigating the Indian Ocean. It replaced the "English Pilot" published by John Thornton in 1700and the charts of the van Keulens, the hydrographers of the Dutch East India Company, which were full of errors. Donald B. Freeman, The Straits of Malacca: Gateway Or Gauntlet?. McGill-Queen's Press, 2006. Catalogued by Kate Hunter