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Souvenirs de Marine . Collection de Plans ou dessins de Navires et de Bateaux Anciens ou Modernes Existants ou Disparus, avec les Éléments Numériques nécessaires à leur Construction.
Paris: 1910-1886-, 1908. Six volumes, folio, 560 x 470 mm., with three portraits (Richelieu, Colbert and Tourville) and 360 lithographed plates (and several others either unnumbered or "b" plates) as well as numerous lithographed leaves of text, dedications, indices, etc.; a few slight stains or spots, a couple of plates lightly chipped at edges; an extremely good set in the original publisher's fine-grained dark green cloth gilt. Encyclopaedic work on ship building by the great authority. Magnificent work on ship building by the great French authority, the influential director of the Musée de la Marine who had sailed with both Dumont d'Urville and Laplace. With three hundred and sixty large plates contained in six enormous volumes, the complete work is almost too much for one person to lift at a time. This is 'the great nineteenth-century collection of plans and data by the marine curator of the Louvre... A treasure-house of plans and data for all periods... Essential...' (Charles O. McDonald, {i Sailing Ship Technology: Some Bibliographical and Book Collecting Notes}, 331). Pâris' beautifully produced and painstaking encyclopaedic publication brings together lines and construction details, sometimes very closely observed, for vessels of all kinds, from all over the world, from the Mediterranean to the Americas and including China and Japan. It also includes a small series of plates devoted to the East Indies and Far East. One plate details boats of New Zealand and New Holland from the early contact period and another reproduces several Cook images of Hawaiian, Tahitian and New Zealand boats, while there is a general plate of different boats of Pacific peoples. Altogether it offers a wealth of plans and drawings of old and modern sailing ships, boats and other craft, ranging from deep-sea commercial square-riggers to men-of-war and from native craft to ancient ships, with details of their construction, masts and rigging, decks, fittings, bows and sterns, and even details of decorations. Pâris had started his naval career on the {i Astrolabe} under Dumont d'Urville; he sailed as an officer on the {i Favorite }on Laplace's first voyage, and sailed again with Laplace on the{i Artémise} on her final voyage of 1837-1840. This was his last voyage too, since he lost an arm as a result of a terrible accident. Unable to sail again, he continued a distinguished naval career as a writer and administrator, and was an influential early promoter of steam. As a writer his first major publication was his study of native ship building ({i Essai sur la construction navale des peuples extra-européens}){i }which appeared in 1841. He would publish altogether thirty-five works in his long career, the largest of which was his final work offered here, the {i Souvenirs de Marine}. In many ways this great book, much of it published after his death, represents the summation of his lifework. While his first work had concentrated on the exotic, this final study covers every aspect of more traditional shipbuilding. In 1871 Pâris was appointed director of the Musée de la Marine, at that time part of the Louvre, but now of course a magnificent independent institution. Pâris' work reflects the enthusiasm of that museum: indeed the illustrations of ships' prows and figureheads here recall some of the most striking exhibits in the museum today. Pâris gave the Musée de la Marine the final twenty-two years of his life, setting out to make its collections the most complete and perfect in the world, in a manner which echoed his gathering of information for his great books. This very attractive set has a fine provenance, having once been in the library of the Cruising Association with their gilt stamps on covers and their bookplates. The book is hard to find as a complete set today, partly because its attractive plates and large size led to copies being broken up for the print trade, but also because Volume 3 was published in a smaller edition than the rest, and is often lacking in sets. The first two volumes here are in their second printing, the others are all from the first printing. We can also offer a copy of the supplementary publication, Jean Poujade's {i Documents d'ethnographie navale}, six parts (Paris, Gauthier-Villars, 1946-1948) which was planned as a supplement (in many ways a successor) to this work and which includes an index to the {i Souvenirs de Marine.}.
      [Bookseller: Hordern House]
Last Found On: 2014-10-10           Check availability:      Direct From Bookseller    

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