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PURDY, John.

The Brasilian Navigator; or Sailing Directory for all the Coasts of Brasil, etc.

From the River Para to the Rio de la Plata, including General Instructions for the Routes both from England and from North America ... Third Edition, Improved from the Observations of MM Tardy de Montravel, de Kerhallet, Chiron du Brossay, and du Perrier, of the French Marine, and other Officers, by Alex. G. Findlay.

Published: London: Printed for Richard Holmes Laurie, Chart-seller to the Admiralty, 1851

Stock code: 70217

Price: £850

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This item is on show at 100 Fulham Road (map)

First published in 1838. Uncommon: just 12 copies of various editions between 1838 and 1862 listed on OCLC, only two of the present one. These coastal pilots were for shipboard use, and are far from sturdily produced with a commensurately low survival rate. This is an unusual and desirable example. Purdy apprenticed to David Steel in 1795, drawing his first charts around 1806, published by Steel’s widow and successor, Penelope Mason. Subsequently he worked exclusively for Laurie and Whittle, compiling charts and the accompanying sailing directions for this company and its successor, R. H. Laurie, until his death in 1843. “Purdy exchanged information with leading hydrographers of the day, both British and foreign. He was respected as the foremost authority in private chart publishing, where he was exceptional for the care with which he acknowledged the many varied sources on which his work was based” (ODNB).

Octavo. Original grey card wraps, printed paper label to the upper panel, rebacked in close to matching paper. Coastal profiles to the text. Wraps worn and soiled, several repairs and internal reinforcements, lacks the lower fore-corner of the title page and the first leaf, repaired, no loss of text, light browning, about very good.

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