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Le Pilote Expert.

Divisé en Deux Parties. La Premiere contient l'Explication des Termes de l'Art de Naviger & le moyen de trouver la moyenne Parallele de differentes façons, & ce que c'set moyenne Parallele. Le moyen de reduire les lieuës de Longitude en degrez parl'Echelle Angloise. Les Tables pour trouver la difference en Latitude & Longitude ... La Seconde contient les Deffinitions de la Sphere. Les Ephermerides du mouvement du Soleil. Les Tables Sexagenaires ... Le tout avec de bonnes & justes Démonstrations.

Published: Havre de Grace: Jacques Gruchet, 1683

Stock code: 90835

Price: £9,750

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First edition. Uncommon, OCLC locates copies at BnF, BL, Newberry, Wurttembergische Landesbibliothek, Paris Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers, and the University of Rostock only. No copies recorded at auction. A comprehensive manual of marine navigation including a glossary of navigational terms, methods of establishing longitude, the lodestone, tables of difference, declination and ascension, and a concise course on celestial navigation. Dassié is a somewhat obscure figure, he was apparently born in Normandy, and lived and worked at various times in both le Havre and Rouen. The title pages of his work reveal that he was a “C.R.”, or”chanoine régulier”, a canon regular, of the Order of Saint-Ruf, an Augustinian order named for the first bishop of Avignon, with various sources describing him as master shipbuilder to the king at Le Havre, and to the coast guard at Toulon. In 1677 he published L’Architecture Navale, considered by Polak to be the first such work, and which is often found bound together with Le Routier des Indes Orientales et Occidentales, which offers a compilation of twenty-six navigations into the East and West Indies. The present work is described in Dassié’s entry in the Biographie Universelle as “a testimony to the zeal and knowledge of the author, barely hinting at the advances he made in ??the nautical art”. A handsome copy of this uncommon, and highly desirable work.

Quarto (184 145 mm). Contemporary sprinkled calf, red morocco label to the spine, compartments gilt with stylised floral devices, foliate gilt edge-roll, edges sprinkled red and green. Decorative initials, tail-pieces including one of a ship at sea, numerous diagrams and tables to the text, retains final blank. A little rubbed and bumped, joints just starting at the head, early ownership inscription to the title page neatly obliterated, light browning and occasional foxing to the text, last few leaves a touch mottled, but overall a very good copy.

Bibliography: Crone Library 432 for the 1720 second edition: Polak 2248

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