*Our shops are open Monday - Saturday. Click here for more information about visiting us, and the safety measures that have been put in place.*


The Universal Code of Signals for the Mercantile Marine of all Nations,

by the Late Captain Marryat, R.N. with a Selection of Sentences adapted for Convoys, and Systems of Geometrical, Night, & Fog Signals.

London, Richardson Brothers, 1864 Stock Code: 42489
Reserve Ask us a question


Renowned as a story-teller of the sea, Marryat was elected to the Royal Society in 1819 mainly on the strength of this adaptation of Sir Home Popham's system of signaling, first published 1817. "This earned him a large and regular income." (ODNB) He later received the Légion d'Honneur from the king of France "for services rendered to science and navigation". "The copyright of this Code of Signals, by which the Mercantile Marine of the whole world has so greatly benefited, became, from a very early period, the property of the late Mr. J.M. Richardson. The Edition of 1841 was the last edited by the original inventor... but since then five large Editions has been issued, each greatly extended and improved." (Preface.) Front endpapers with request that "Owners and Captains of Vessels desirous" of having their official number or names included to apply to the publishers, and advertising the publication of French, Spanish and Italian translations and imminent issue of German and Norwegian editions, and the availability of the "Flags used in this Code of Signals". Bound in at the rear is a leaf with the "Royal Humane Society's Directions for the Recovery of the Apparently Drowned." Marryat had been awarded "the Society's honorary medallion in 1821 for his design for a lifeboat and for his gallantry in saving life at sea." None of the editions of the Code are common, two copies only on COPAC, Oxford and NLS, OCLC records just three copies in the US, NMM has a copy. Contemporary armorial bookplate of Col. Charles A.W. Troyte to the front pastedown together with his pencilled initials.

Confused? Read our glossary


Octavo. (244 x 154mm) Original blue embossed cloth, rebacked with the original spine laid down, title gilt to the upper board.


8 chromolithographic plates of plates, one of them double-page of "Maritime Merchant Flags of all Nations."


Lightly browned, one plate a little torn, now repaired, no loss, cloth a little rubbed, sunned at the spine.


With the exception of framed items*, Peter Harrington offers free delivery on all UK orders of rare books, maps and prints placed through this website. Delivery to USA and the rest of the world is similarly free for orders over £200.

View Full Delivery Details



Established in 1969, Peter Harrington is one of the leading rare book firms in the world. It is a proud member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association – along with ILAB, the PBFA and Lapada – and from shops in Mayfair and Chelsea, London, sells rare books, prints and ephemera to customers across the world.

Email: mail@peterharrington.co.uk

Tel: +44 (0)20 7591 0220

ABA Antiquarian Bookseller Association ILAB International League of Antiquarian Booksellers LAPADA The Association of Art and Anatique Dealers PBFA Provincial Booksellers Fairs Association

Our Guarantee Page

Ask us a question


Contact us with details of the book you are interested in or selling and we will contact you

Sell Old Books Help me find a book