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The South West Coast of the Peninsula of Nova Scotia ... [and] The South East Coast of Nova Scotia
London: Published by J.F.W. Des Barres in 'The Atlantic Neptune', 1780. Pair of engraved maps, each printed on four sheets joined, border with a yellow wash, some topographical elements additionally hand coloured. (Minor separations at folds and short edge tears, light offsetting). Des Barres monumental mapping of the entire southern coast of Nova Scotia. Des Barres studied under the great mathematician Daniel Bernoulli at the University of Basel, before continuing on to the Royal Military College at Woolwich. On the outbreak of the Seven Years war in 1756, he joined the British Royal American Regiment as a military engineer. He came to the attention of General James Wolfe, who appointed him to be his aide-de-camp. From 1762, Des Barres was enlisted to survey the coastlines of Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and the Gulf of St.Lawrence, while his colleague, Samuel Holland charted the New England coast. He also managed to gain access to some surveys of the American South, Cuba and Jamaica. In 1774, Des Barres returned to England where he began work on the Neptune. His dedication to the project was so strong, that often at his own expense, he continually updated and added new charts and views up until 1784. That year he returned to Canada, where he remained for a further forty years, becoming a senior political figure and a wealthy land owner, and living to the advanced age of 103.The Atlantic Neptune was the first British sea atlas of the North American colonies, and due to Des Barres' synergy of great empirical accuracy with unrivalled artistic virtue, it is considered to be one of the most important achievements of eighteenth-century cartography. Upon the conclusion of the Seven Years War, Britain's empire in North America was greatly expanded, and this required the creation of a master atlas featuring new and accurate sea charts for use by the Royal Navy. Des Barres was charged with this herculean task, publishing the first volume in London in 1775, which was soon followed by further volumes. Des Barres' monumental endeavor eventually featured over two-hundred charts and aquatint views, many being found in several states.The present examples are the final state of the South West Coast map (with the imprint date changed to 1781, "Pl. *9" in the upper right corner as per the 1781 table of contents of the atlas and with additional shading) and the penultimate state of the South East Coast (with the imprint date changed to 1779, "Pl. *19" in the upper right corner). The right side border on the former and the left side border on the latter have intentionally been left open so that the two maps could be joined to create a single map showing the entire southern coast of Nova Scotia. Stevens 26f and 44e; Spendlove, The Face of Early Canada, Chapter 4: "J.F.W. Des Barres and The Atlantic Neptune"; pp. 18-22; Debard, "The Family Origins of Joseph Fredericks Wallet Des Barres: A Riddle Finally Solved", Nova Scotia Historical Review, Vol 14, No. 2 (1994), p.15.
      [Bookseller: Donald Heald Rare Books ]
Last Found On: 2015-10-05           Check availability:      ABAA    


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