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Collection of six scarce works on navigation, hydrography, meteorology, and astronomy published at Nantes.

Nantes: Victor Mangin, & Imprimerie Mellinet, 1829-33 Stock Code: 67938
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Rare first editions of theoretical papers on various maritime matters

First editions of a group of rather eccentric theoretical papers on a range of matters maritime by an "ancien marin Nantaise", based in his experiences as a ship's captain in the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans. In his introduction to the first "opuscule" Fruneau insists that he is not seeking patronage (Certes! l'intérêt ni autres motifs n'ont aucune part à cet ouvrage), but merely to please the public eye (curiosité publique) by passing along, in the harsh and hard (âpre et dur) language of the sea, some little-known, or even unknown "circonstances" and his theories about them, based entirely on my own observations (les systèmes qui en dépendant sont les fruits de mes seules observations). The works gathered here, apparently for presentation by the author, are: (1) Mélanges en Précis, sur des Considérations Conjecturales et d'Hypothèses, sur la Lune et les Marées, les Causes et Formations des Vents et Pluies, par les Électricités (1829); (2) Essais Météorologique sur la Formation des Bancs de Glace; sur le Fond des Fleuves, Lacs et Mers; sur les Premiers Élements d'un Nouveau Système du Monde (1830); (3) Succinte Dissertation faisant Suite au Système Solaire (1830); (4) Succincte Hypothèse sur la Cause de l'Obliquité de l'Écliptique avec l'Équateur, etc., faisant Suite a mon Système Solaire (1831); (5) Continuation de nes Aperçus Philosophiques, Phisiologiques, Cosmologiques, Aérologiques, Géologiques, etc. (1831); and (6) Précis qui sont Suite a mes Observations sur quelques Circonstances Physiques et Hydrographiques etc. (1832). Copies of these are recorded in the BnF and the Museum d'Histoire Naturelle only. The pagination of these works is somewhat erratic, and there are a number of brief insertions, including a two-page Notice which is signed and has six lines in Fruneau's hand, relating to his presentation of a collection of his "ouvrages" to M. Hyde de Neuville, Ministre de la Marine. As he has explained, the origins of Fruneau's speculations are firmly rooted in his thirty years' experience as an officer on merchant ships. The first paper, which covers his theories on tempests, includes a highly-detailed lithographed map of the Philippines and adjacent islands, and three superb plates of incidents in the surrounding seas. The map has been heavily annotated identifying additional islands and hazards, and with historical and topographical notes. It speaks well of his cartographic skills and local knowledge that the British National Archives hold two manuscript charts of the Philippines by Fruneau (ADM 352/40 and 41) dated to the 1780s, and formerly in the Admiralty Hydrographic Department.

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Octavo (198 x 124 mm). Contemporary quarter calf, imitation tree calf boards, black morocco label, edges stained yellow.


Folding lithographed map and 3 folding lithographic plates, one hand-coloured plate on thin card stock, attractive wood-engraved illustrations and devices to the text.


Neatly rebacked with the original spine laid down, variable foxing and browning, but overall very good.


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