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The Sailing and Fighting Instructions or Signals as they are Observed in the Royal Navy of Great Britain
Lon., (1715).. b/w engravings. This is the first printed British Signal Book. “The year 1714 saw the issue of the first signal book. This curiously enough was a private venture of one Jonathan Greenwood... No doubt this duodecimo sized book was much more convenient than the folio sized Instructions. Each signal is represented by a drawing of a ship flying the flag or flags of the signal at the proper place, the purport being added underneath, a method at use in the French navy at least twenty years earlier... Apparently, although the Instructions were regarded as confidential the signals were not, as the work is described as, ‘designed to supply the Inferior Officers who cannot have recourse to the Printed Instructions.’”- Perrin, British Flags, p. 163. The book consists of 72 leaves, all engraved, most containing two illustrations of ships or cannon, many with contemporary hand-coloring - 67 engraved illustrations in all. A&W 1890. It is a scarce book in the trade, particularly in good condition, as most copies were used hard. Worldcat shows only two libraries holding copies. The most recent copy in comparable condition to appear at auction sold for 3000 pounds in 2009. It is uncertain whether or not all copies have a frontispiece portrait. This one does not. It is in very good condition, bound in full period blind stamped calf. A wonderful survival.
      [Bookseller: Ten Pound Island Book Co.]
Last Found On: 2013-12-01           Check availability:      IOBABooks    

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