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The most spectacular marine atlas ever published: a magnificent copy, beautifully bound by the important Amsterdam Double Drawer Handle Bindery, with noble provenance

JAILLOT, Hunter and Pierre MORTIER.
Neptunus, de Fransche, of nieuwe atlas van de zeekarten, opgenommen en gegraveerd door uitsrukkelyke order des Konings, tot het gebruik van zyne zeemachten ... Overgezien ... door de Heeren Pene, Cassini, en anderen. = Zee atlas tot het gebruik van de vlooten des Konings van Groot Britanje ... - Vervolg van de Neptunus, of zee atlas van de nieuwe zee-karten; opgenomen door uitdrukkelyke order der Koningen van Portugaal ... En int light gebraght door de sorge van wylen dHeer dAblancourt ...Amsterdam, Pieter Mortier, 1693-1700. 3 parts in 2 volumes. Double Elephant folio (65 x 52.5 cm). With richly engraved allegorical frontispiece by Jan van Vianen, large engraving of a sailing ship on title-page, engraved plates include scales of various units, an admirals ship and a series of 18 numbered ships, 12 plates of flags, double-page nautical chart of the world, and 29 double-page nautical charts of the coasts of Europe; beautiful engraved frontispiece by Romeyn de Hooghe, large engraving of a sailing ship on title-page and 9 full-page and double-page nautical charts of the coasts of the English Channel, including a splendid large folding chart of the coasts of the Mediterranean with a large number of views and plans of the Mediterranean towns in the borders by Romeyn de Hooghe in the second part; and the engraved coat-of-arms of Amsterdam on title-page, the winds, and 34 mostly double-page nautical charts of the coasts outside Europe (including Africa, Asia and America) in the third part, all engravings, including the vignettes on title-pages, the scales and the winds, all magnificently coloured and highlighted in gold throughout by a strictly contemporary hand. Bound by the Double Drawer Handle Bindery (1697-1742?), the most important Amsterdam workshop of the 18th century, in richly gold-tooled calf of which four motives or stamps are identified as being used by the Double Drawer Handle Bindery: both rolls on the boards with flowering foliage and flowers, the centrepiece showing Atlas staggering under the weight of a celestial globe and the four corner pieces and the stamps (with a loosely stamped supporting base) in the fields on the spine, being small globes.
€ 450,000
First edition of undoubtedly the most beautiful and most spectacular nautical atlas of the 17th century, a complete and unusually well-preserved copy with a noble provenance: the engravings coloured for the publisher and highlighted in gold, bound in the publishers decorative gold-tooled mottled calf. "The Neptune François and its second part Cartes marines à lusage du Roy de la Grande Bretagne was the most expensive sea-atlas ever published in Amsterdam in the 17th century. Its charts are larger and more lavishly decorated than those of any preceding book of this kind. For the engraving and etching Mortier had recruited the most qualified artists ... In 1700, Mortier brought out a third volume with charts of the outer-European waters, of French origin edited by N. P. dAblancourt: Suite de Neptune François. Apart from the first volume which had a second edition in 1703, none of the atlases was republished. This magnificent work was intended more as a show-piece than something to be used by the pilots at sea" (Koeman). The second part was engraved by Romeyn de Hooghe, the prolific late Dutch Baroque painter: "This volume is usually bound together with the first part, the Neptune François. It only contains nine large charts, but this small number represents the most spectacular type of maritime cartography ever produced in 17th century Amsterdam" (Koeman).In addition to the charts called for by the table of contents, part one has a fine world map (Shirley 559). The 3 plates of ships listed at the beginning of the table will be found in part 3, which therefore has 19 plates of ships instead of the 18 called for by the table and the 12(!) mentioned by Koeman. Hardly any browning or foxing; a few light creases in the gutter margin. As usual the copper green colouring in volume one has turned into a brownish hue and caused acidic damage to a few small patches in six maps.Extremely rare: the last comparable copy on the market was the Wardington copy, sold at Sotheby's in 2006 (lot 318), where it commanded £209,600 (also boasting a noble German provenance, with the colouring and binding like ours).
From a southern German castle library with small 18th-century bookplate pasted to verso of both engraved titles; old shelfmark pencilled on the inside of the boards. Bindings only slightly worn. Koeman, M. Mor 3, 6 & 8; cf. Pastoureau, Neptune Ba. For the binding: Storm van Leeuwen. Dutch decorated bookbinding in the eighteenth century, pp. 228-284 (here used IX, X, F, 115).
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