Mémorial Topographique et Militaire,
rédigé au Dépôt Général de la Guerre; imprimé par Ordre du Ministre.
First editions of an early run of this uncommon and important French military periodical in an attractive contemporary binding. The Mémorial was established under Napoleon as First Consul as the journal of the Dépôt Général de la Guerre, to provide an organ for the dissemination of the “precious materials” daily acquired by the department, with an emphasis on developments in geography, geodesy, and cartography. As such it became one of the cornerstones of the professionalization of military surveying in France, part of the “high-level, coherent education” provided at the École d’application des ingénieurs-géographes, a model of military scientific instruction (see Bret, Le Dépôt Général de la Guerre et la formation scientifique des ingénieurs-géographes en France (1789-1830), https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00002880/document).
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Six volumes octavo (198 122 mm) Contemporary blue half calf, ticket of J. Seacombe, “booksellers and Stationers” of Chester to the front pastedown of volume I, very finely veined pale greyish Italian marbled boards, red morocco lettering- and numbering-pieces, compartments with fleuron centre-tools, foliate corner-pieces, feather-scroll blind roll to the spine and corner edges, edges sprinkled sepia, pale buff endpapers. 24 folding plates, including 16 detailing the “signes conventionnels” in cartography; 3 detailed folding maps, the Battle of Leuthen and two of the Black Forest., tables to the text, attractive title-page vignettes of scientific instruments. A little rubbed at the extremities, light browning, one or two of the folders a little misfolded and standing proud at the fore-edge, but overall very good. Armorial bookplates of William Lewis Hughes, 1st Baron Dinorben to the front pastedowns. Dinorben’s mother had inherited the Llysdulas on Anglesey from her uncle, which included Parys Mountain, later to become the largest copper mine in Europe making the Hughes family’s fortune.