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L’Architecture navale,

contenant la manière de construire les navires, galères & chaloupes, & la définition de plusieurs autres espèces de vaisseaux. Avec les tables des longitudes, latitudes & marées, cours & distances des principaux ports des quatre parties du monde; une description des dangers, écueils, & l'explication des termes de la marine ; [issued with;] Le routier des indes orientales et occidentales ...

Published: Paris: Jean de la Caille, 1687

Stock code: 90928

Price: £8,000

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First edition. “Consideré comme le premier traité d’architecture navale” (Polak). Although perhaps not the first, Dassié’s work is almost certainly the first such work written by a professional in the field, and framed in such a way as to be of practical assistance to fellow shipbuilders. 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. On the title page he is styled “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. As usual the work is bound together with Le Routier des Indes Orientales et Occidentales, which offers a compilation of 26 navigations into the East and West Indies based on Dutch and Portuguese sources.

Quarto (241 172 mm). Contemporary sprinkled calf, title gilt direct to the spine, foliate lozenge to the compartments with spiral corner-pieces, edges sprinkled red. Joint title/half-title bound in, publisher’s device to the title page of the first-named, which is complete with 7 plates, 5 of them folding, and a folding table. Slightly rubbed, corners bumped, a few small nicks on the boards, neatly restored on the joints, headcaps and at the corners, plates a little rolled at the fore-edge, one leaf misbound, light browning, but overall a very good copy.

Bibliography: Craig p.4; Polak 2247; Sabin 18655.

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