Geography, Travels and Cartography Philobiblon

One Thousand Years of Bibliophily from the 11th to the 21st Century

A Landmark of Geographical Knowledge

19. Ptolemaeus, Claudius (ca. 100-168)

Cosmographia. Tr: Jacobus Angelus. Ed: Angelus Vadius and Barnabas Picardus. Hermann Liechtenstein, 13 September 1475.

Folio (304x205 mm). Collation: aa10, bb8-1, a10, b-g8, h10, A-F8, G10. 142 of [143] leaves, lacking fol. aa1 blank. Text in one column, 39 lines. Type: 102R. Finely painted initials alternately in red or blue, the one on fol. aa8v with extension. Seven-line blank space on fol. aa1r. Rubricated in red and blue, the capital letters touched with yellow. Four woodcut diagrams on fols. bb5v, bb6v, bb7v, and F3r. Contemporary wooden boards, one (of two) original oyster clasp preserved. Spine covered in calf, with three raised bands. A few wormholes to the upper cover, loss to the upper outer corner; joints slightly abraded. In a black morocco box, title and imprint in gilt lettering on the spine. An exceptional, and unsophisticated copy, with wide margins. Two small wormholes to the blank outer margin of the first leaf repaired, without any loss. The front and rear flyleaves both reinforced at an early date with a fragment from a manuscript. Pencilled bibliographical notes on the rear pastedown. A typewritten French description of this copy tipped in on the front pastedown, '142 feuillets, sans le premier blanc. Le F. bb8 ne fait pas partie du cahier. Reliure de l'époque en ais de bois, un fermoir HC 13536. Klebs 812.1 Rarissime'.

Outstanding copy – still in pristine condition – of the first Latin edition of the most celebrated geographical treatise of classical antiquity. An edition of the greatest rarity, and a monumental achievement of geographical knowledge and a cornerstone of the European tradition.

The Latin Ptolemy of 1475 was issued from the printing house established in Vicenza by the German printer Hermann Liechtenstein, also known by his surname 'Leuilapis'. A native of Cologne, he began his career as a printer in Vicenza, publishing the undated Historiae by Orosius in 1475, as well as the first edition of Ptolemy, completed on 13 September. Ptolemy's Geographia is one of the first books ever printed in Vicenza, where printing was first introduced in the spring of 1474 by Leonardus Achates de Basilea. The text was set in a roman type, which seems to derive from the font used by Achates.

The present work, divided into eight books, was produced by Ptolemy in the second century AD and describes the known inhabited world (or oikoumene), divided into three continents: Europe, Libye (or Africa), and Asia. Book i provides details for drawing a world map with two different projections (one with linear and the other with curved meridians), while Books ii-vii list the longitude and latitude of some 8,000 locations, Book vii concluding with instructions for a perspectival representation of a globe. In Book viii, Ptolemy breaks down the world map into twenty six smaller areas and provides useful descriptions for cartographers.

The work was brought to Italy from Constantinople around 1400, and its translation into Latin was made by Jacopo Angeli (or Angelo da Scarperia) in Florence between 1406 and 1409. He was a pupil of Manuel Chrysoloras (ca. 1350 1415), the exiled Byzanthine scholar who had possibly begun the translation himself, on the basis of a hitherto unidentified Greek manuscript. Angelo's translation is mainly based on a composite text deriving from two different manuscripts.

This volume was edited by Angelus Vadius and Barnabas Picardus and contains only the text of Ptolemy's Geographia. No maps were issued in this first edition of 1475, which were probably not present in the manuscript which served as copy-text, and the only illustrations included are the three diagrams in chapter xxiv of Book i (fols. bb5v, bb6v, and bb7v), showing the ‘modus designandi in tabula plana', and that on fol. F3, depicting the Polus antarcticus. The first illustrated edition of Ptolemy appeared in Bologna in 1477, under the title of Cosmographia and supplemented with copperplates drawn and engraved by the famous illuminator Taddeo Crivelli.

The Latin edition of this landmark geographical text enjoyed wide and enduring popularity. The editio princeps in Greek appeared in Basel only in 1533, and the circulation of the Latin text throughout Europe in the fifteenth century greatly influenced (both directly and indirectly) the shaping of the modern world. As Angeli writes at the end of his dedication: “Now, I repeat now, let us listen to Ptolemy himself speaking in Latin”.

HC 13536*; GW M36388; BMC VII, 1035; IGI 8180; Goff P-108; Flodr Ptolomaeus, 1; Sander 5973; F. Mittenhuber, “The Tradition of Texts and Maps in Ptolemy's 'Geography'”, A. Jones (ed.), Ptolemy in Perspective. Use and Criticism of his Work from Antiquity to the Nineteenth Century, Dordrecht 2010, pp. 95-120; B. Weiss, “The Geography in Print. 1475-1530”, Z. Shalev - C. Burnett (eds.), Ptolemy's “Geography” in the Renaissance, London 2011, pp. 91-120; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 19.

110. Alberti, Leandro (1479-1552)

Descrittione di tutta Italia... nella quale si contiene il sito di essa, l’origine, & le signorie delle città , & delle castella, co i nomi antichi e moderni... Et piu gli huomini famosi che l’hanno illustrata, i monti, i laghi, i fiumi.... Anselmo Giaccarelli, January 1550.

Two parts in one volume, folio (287x193 mm). Collation: [π]4, A8, B-Ζ6, Aa-Zz6, AAA-ZZZ6, AAAA-IIII6; a-d6, e4. [4], VII (lacking blank A8), 9-469 (lacking fol. IIII6 blank), [28] leaves. Roman and italic type. Woodcut printer's device on the title-page. Woodcut author's portrait on fol. [π]4v, numerous woodcut animated initials. Eighteenth-century vellum over pasteboards. Smooth spine, title in gilt. Edges mottled red and blue. A good copy, title and first leaves slightly browned and spotted, especially at the gutter, old marginal repair to fol. Oo1; waterstain at the beginning and in the middle of the volume, inner margin of the last leaf reinforced, a little hole repaired in the same leaf with the loss of a few letters. Some early marginal notes.

First edition – in its first issue bearing in the preliminary quire the author's portrait and verses by Giovanni Philoteo Achillini – dedicated to Henry II of France and Catherine de' Medici. This important historical, artistic, and geographical guide was composed by the Dominican from Bologna Leandro Alberti, who travelled widely throughout Italy and in 1536 was named vicar of Santa Sabina in Rome. Despite its great size, the work became immensely popular, and was read and referenced until the late eighteenth century by many foreign travellers embarking upon the Grand Tour. Alberti's Descrittione has an encyclopaedic character, and its reliance upon earlier antiquarian works – above all Flavio Biondo's influential Italia illustrata – is profound. At the same time, the Descrittione also reflects his individual experience as a traveller across Italy and contains numerous personal reflections and observations, including a brief reference to Vespucci's New World voyage. Furthermore, Alberti consulted Biondo's remarkable library and requested information from all major Italian scholars of his time who in turn answered enthusiastically; among his correspondents, the names of Paolo Giovio and Andrea Alciati stand out. Alberti's work quickly found an eager audience all over Europe, as evinced by its early presence in most of the academic libraries in Northern Europe. The enduring international impact of Alberti's work is also shown in its use by cartographers like Ortelius and Quad in their mapping and description of the Italian peninsula.

After the first printing in 1550, ten more editions of the Descrittione appeared between 1551 and 1631.

STC Italian 14; Harrisse no. 302; A. Pescarzoli, I libri di viaggio e le guide della raccolta Luigi Vittorio Fossati Bellani, Roma 1957, I, no. 284; F. Govi, I classici che hanno fatto l'Italia, Modena 2010, no. 87; G. Petrella, L'officina del geografo: la 'Descrittione di tutta Italia' di Leandro Alberti e gli studi geografico-antiquari tra Quattro e Cinquecento, Milano 2004; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 110.

From the celebrated Pillone Library Vecellio’s drawn maps on vellum covers

159. Anania, Gianni Lorenzo da (1545-1609)

L’uniuersale fabrica del mondo, overo Cosmografia... Diuisa in quattro Trattati... Di nuouo ornata con le figure delle quattro parti del Mondo in Rame. Andrea Muschio for Giacomo Aniello De Maria, 1582.

4° (218x157 mm). Collation: †8, ††4, a-d4, A-Z4, Aa- Zz4, Aaa-Bbb4, Ddd6. [56], 402 pages, lacking the last blank leaf. Roman and italic type. Woodcut printer's device on the title-page. One double-page engraved map of 'ORBIS DESCRIPTIO'; four folding engraved maps depicting Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Woodcut decorated initials, head- and tailpieces. Contemporary vellum over pasteboards, with original drawings in pen and ink executed by Cesare Vecellio, depicting a map of Europe, Asia, and Africa on the front cover, and a map of the Americas (Mondo Novo) on the back. Spine with three raised bands, title 'FABRICHA DEL MONDO' vertically inked in the two central compartments, arabesques in ink at the external compartments. Edges decorated with curving lines. Binding in excellent condition, a little faint staining, two pairs of ties on the fore-edge replaced. A good copy, small repairs to the leaves of the first quire, affecting a few letters, light browning, the first leaves slightly waterstained; a small wormhole at the upper blank margin.

Provenance: Odorico Pillone of Casteldardo (1503-1593); Sir Thomas Brooke of Armitage Bridge House, Huddersfield (1830-1908; ex-libris on the front pastedown; see A Catalogue of the Manuscripts and Printed Books Collected by Thomas Brooke, F.S.A. Vol. II. M-Z, London 1891, no. 100, “Lorenzo d'Anania, Gio. L'Universale Fabrica del Mondo, overo Cosmografia. In Venetia, 1587. 4to. v.”); from Humprey Brooke to Pierre Berès (P. Berès, Un group de livres Pillone. Catalogue no. 67, Paris 1957, no. 132; label on the front pastedown 'Livre no. 132 de la Bibliothèque Pillone Pierre Berès'); John Roland Abbey (1896-1969; ex-libris on the front pastedown; sale Sotheby's 21 June 1967, Catalogue of the Celebrated Library of Major J.R. Abbey. 3rd portion. London 1967, lot 2091); Sotheby's London, 25 May 2000, lot 89.

A rare surviving copy from the celebrated library assembled by the Pillone family in their Villa of Casteldarno in Val Cadore, near Belluno: the third edition of Anania's Cosmografia, an influential and much-cited sixteenth-century guide which first appeared in Naples in 1573, and presented here in a magnificent vellum binding decorated with India ink and wash drawings by Cesare Vecellio (1521-1601; see no. 157), a cousin and pupil of Titian. Vecellio is also famously the author of Habiti antichi et moderni, as well as the Corona delle nobili e virtuose donne, one of the finest cut pattern books for embroidery and lace designs (see no. 169).

The library was formed by the Pillones over several generations, but significantly expanded by Antonio (1464-1533) and his eldest son Odorico (1503-1594). These finely painted bindings were commissioned by Odorico, or possibly by his son Giorgio in the late 1570s-1580s. In all, 172 books were bound and decorated, mainly by Vecellio and a few other artists.

The Pillone Library was larged and varied, and well supplied with geographical books and travel narratives. The present copy of Anania's Universale fabrica del mondo or Cosmografia is one of only twenty-one volumes bound in vellum whose covers were finely decorated by Vecellio with drawings in pen and ink appropriate to the content of the book, which in this case contains – along the double-page engraved map of 'orbis descriptio' – four folding engraved maps of the continents known at the time, depicting Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. On the upper cover, Vecellio presents a map of Europe, Asia, and Africa, while the lower cover bears a map depicting the Mondo Novo.

“Si elles n'ont pas pour l'amateur d'art le prix inestimable des oeuvres originales de Vecellio, elles offrent pour l'amateur de livres des spécimens également désirables à cause de leur précision iconographique et de l'élegance de leur facture. Les vélins peints [...] ressortissent plus à la gravure qu'au dessin. Leur presence [...] concourt à donner sa physionomie unique à la bibliothèque Pillone. Par le souci réellement artistique qui a présidé à leur décoration et dont on ne connaît aucun exemple, ils doivent être considerés commes des oeuvres artistiques exceptionnelles” (L. Venturi, Cesare Vecellio et la Bibliothèque Pillone, introduction to Bibliothèque Pillone).

STC Italian 26; Bibliothèque Pillone, 132; Sabin 1364; T. Conte (ed.), Cesare Vecellio, 1521 c.-1601, Belluno 2001; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 159.

The Genoese nobility

200. Fransone, Agostino (1573-1658)

Nobiltà di Genoua di Agostino Fransone del fu Tomaso nobile Genouese all’Ill.mo & Ecc.mo signor prencipe Doria. Pietro Giovanni Calenzano and Giovanni Maria Farroni, 1636.

Folio (476x357 mm). Six unnumbered engraved leaves, including author's portrait, the frontispiece bearing the coat of arms of the dedicatee, the dedication to the Prince Doria, the title-page, the coat-of-arms of the city of Genoa, St. George (patron saint of the city) killing the dragon; thirty engraved plates, numbered I-XXIX (two plates are numbered I); [4] printed pages, with the list of family names. All thirty-six plates engraved by Jérôme David (three after Luciano Borzone). Contemporary marbled boards, recently rebacked in vellum. A very good copy, some marginal foxing.

The first and only edition of this splendid work dedicated to the Genoese nobility, illustrated with fine engravings executed by the French artist Jérôme David (1605-1670), and dedicated to Prince Doria, whose coat of arms is engraved on the frontispiece. The plates also include Fransone's portrait at the age of sixty-three, while the title-page is illustrated with a handsome engraved bird's-eye view of Genoa. The engravings primarily show the coats of arms of the most noble families of Genoa, particularly the twenty-eight which, in 1528, had been selected for the government of the city (Armi delle casate nobili della citta di Genoua annesse al Governo della Rep.: ripartite nelli 28 alberghi instituiti l'anno 1528). The last four pages list the noble families aggregated to the previous ruling houses.

The colophon and the first three plates are dated 1636; the remaining plates were probably printed in 1634, the date of the engraved title.

Cicognara 2032; Colaneri 724; Manno VI, 25222; Spreti 1579; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 200.

Ex dono Auctoris

219. Meyer, Cornelius (1629-1701)

Nuovi ritrovamenti divisi in due parti con trè Tavole in lingua Latina, Francese, & Ollandese. Parte prima. Delli ordegni per cavar pali. Armature della calamita. Del modo di levare i sassi sott’acqua, e trovar la lega dell’oro, e dell’argento... Rome, Giovanni Giacomo Komarek, 1696. (bound with:) Idem. Alla Santità di N.S. Papa Innocentio XI. Beatissimo Padre. [Rome, Giacomo Antonio de Lazzeri Varese, 1679]. (bound with:) Idem. Nuovi ritrovamenti dati in luce dall’Ingegneiro [sic] Cornelio Meyer per eccitare l’ingegno de’ virtuosi ad aumentarli, ò aggiungervi maggior perfettione... Rome, Giovanni Giacomo Komarek, 1689. (together with:) Idem. L’Arte di restituire à Roma la tralasciata Navigatione del suo Tevere. Divisa in tre parti.... Giacomo Antonio de Lazzari Varese, 1685.

Two volumes containing four works, in near uniform bindings.

First volume. Three works bound together, folio (411x261 mm). I. [28] unsigned leaves, including title-page with a large engraved vignette showing a dragon with the caption 'Drago come viveva il primo di Decembre 1691 nelle paludi fuori di Roma'; dedication to the Grand Duke of Tuscany Cosimo III dated Rome, 22 June 1696; 22 leaves consisting of plates with letter-press explanatory text, all of them half-page (except two full-page and three double-page); 4 leaves of indices in Latin, French, and Dutch. Roman and italic type. II. Collation: A14. [14] leaves. Issued without title-page, opening with dedicatory epistle to Innocent XI. Twelve numbered half-page engravings accompanied by explanatory text below, printed on recto only. Roman and italic type. The plates are partly dated between 1677 and 1679, engraved by Giovanni Battista Falda and Jacques Blondeau, after Meyer. III. Collation: [π]2-1, A-D2, 2D2, E2-1. [12] leaves. Roman and italic type. Typographical ornament on the title-page. Fifteen engravings in the text, two of which are double page. Most of the plates signed by Meyer as designer, and sometimes as both designer and engraver. The double-page astronomical engraving is signed by Ioannes Baptista Honoratus Polustinus.

Contemporary limp vellum. Extremities of the spine damaged. Fine, unsophisticated copy. Worm-tracks on the upper margin of several leaves not affecting the text, some leaves somewhat loose.

Second volume. Three parts, folio (401x265 mm). [92] leaves, 15, [1] pages. All leaves are unsigned, except for fols. [9-10] signed A-A2 and the final 8 leaves signed A-D2. The edition includes: two additional titles with dedication to Innocent XI and a large allegorical engraving present here in two states (one variant has the caption title 'Fluminis Fluctus Letificant Civitatem' written on a cartouche on top of the engraving, while the second version has 'D.O.M.' instead); a letter-press title with a woodcut ornament; sixty-eight engraved illustrations and maps (six double-page, one full-page and the rest half-page). The final 15 pages contain the relations of the Sacra Congregatio riparum Tyberis, and end with the colophon 'Romae, ex Typographia Rev. Cam. Apost., 1685'. The first illustration of part two, a double-page map showing the Delineatione del stagno di Maccarese, is captioned: 'In Roma, nella stamperia di Nicol'Angelo Tinassi, 1681'. The comet plate referred to in the list of plates is absent, in keeping with all other copies. At the bottom of the figura quarta in Part one are two contemporary ink drawings of technical structures. Roman and italic type. Woodcut head- and tailpieces.

Contemporary vellum, over thin boards. Spine with inked title, partly damaged and with a few losses. A genuine copy, with good margins. Some browning and foxing, double-page map of Delinatione del stagno di Maccarese heavily browned.

Provenance: I. Meyer's own inscription 'Ex dono Auctoris' on the verso of the front flyleaf; on the front pastedown nineteenth-century armorial ex-libris of the Odescalchi family, bearing the motto 'per servire s'acquista servi quando poi', and engraved by Michelassi. II. Meyer's own inscription 'Ex dono Auctoris' on the verso of the front flyleaf.

Two-volume set containing four rare first editions by Cornelius Meyer (Cornelis Meijer), both volumes bearing the author's inscription 'Ex dono Auctoris'. Dedication copies of these already rare works are extremely hard to come by separately, and even more so bound together, and in copies complete with all their parts. This is the case of this set, in which the first volume also bears the ex-libris of the Odescalchi family, and it is especially noteworthy that Pope Innocent XI Odescalchi was the patron of Meyer as well as the dedicatee of the second edition bound in this volume.

I. The first work bound – Nuovi ritrovamenti divisi in due parti... Parte prima – though printed seven years later, in 1696, forms the first section of a two-part work, which gathers some of the author's technical inventions and scientific experiments. The second part, Nuovi ritrovamenti dati in luce, was issued first, in 1689, but both texts are clearly related insofar as the index to both parts is printed at the end of the Part one.

The plates show inventions and experiments undertaken by Meyer in Rome and other places like Livorno and Civitavecchia: among others, the large magnet of the Grand Duke of Tuscany, instruments and technical tools to raise cannons and poles from below the sea and to break stones underwater, methods for melting metals, canalization and other hydraulic works, a plan of the harbor of Livorno, fortification works, spectacles, games and curiosities including how to break a glass with a musical instrument, the eclipse of Jupiter's first satellite, a map of the mouth of Po river, chariots, the design of a room, the orbit of a comet, and fountains. One of the plates included here shows the Civitavecchia harbor, where the author recovered the hull of a sunken vessel.

The third work included in the first volume – the one bound in the middle – is the rarest of all three. It was issued without a title-page and opens with a dedication to Innocent XI Odescalchi. Meyer's name appears at the end of the dedication, while the imprint is at the bottom of the last two leaves. As stated in the notice to the reader, with this publication Meyer intended to show to the general public how he so brilliantly completed the first task assigned to him by Clement X upon his arrival in Rome.

Born in Amsterdam, Cornelius Meyer left his country in 1674 for Venice, then a popular destination for Dutch engineers seeking employment. He moved to Rome one year later. Pope Clement X put Meyer in charge of a major project aimed at protecting the Via Flaminia against the flooding of the Tiber. Meyer, whose plans were less expensive than those proposed by the project's former head engineer, Carlo Fontana, constructed a passonata, i.e., a row of piles, in the Tiber, which deflected the river's current away from the Via Flaminia.

II. First edition of Meyer's important work on the restoration of the Tiber River for navigation, L'arte di restituire a Roma la tralasciata navigatione del suo Tevere, which is considered his masterpiece, and is presented here in its second issue (the first issue is dated 1683 on the title-page).

After this first successful work on the Tiber, Clement X and his successor Innocent XI hired Meyer to improve navigation on the river with the purpose of increasing commerce. Meyer came up with revolutionary solutions to expedite travel along the river and in 1683, with the help of artist Gaspar van Wittel, he published his projects in L'arte di restituire a Roma la tralasciata navigatione del suo Tevere. The book, which is divided into three parts, was both a record of Meyer's engineering skills as well as a form of self-promotion for seeking further commissions. It includes a beautiful series of etchings by Meyer himself as well as by Giovanni Battista Falda, Gaspar van Wittel, Jacques Blondeau, Barend de Bailliu, Balthasar Denner, Gomar Wouters, Johannes Collin, and Ioannes Baptista Honoratus Polustinus. It was with his designs in L'arte di restituire that Meyer consolidated his reputation among the artistic and scientific elite of Rome.

Michel & Michel V, p. 161; Cicognara 3791-3792; Olschki 17589; Poggendorff II, 134; Rossetti 7022-7023c; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 219.

The Magnificence of Venice

227. Graevius, Johann Georg (1632-1703)

Splendor Magnificentissimae Urbis Venetiarum Clarissimus; E Figuris elegantissimis, & accurata Descriptione emicans; In Duas Partes distributus.... Peter Van der Aa, 1722.

Two parts in one volume, folio (393x243 mm). [18], 242; [4], 247-324, 324a-324k, 362, 362a, 363, 363a, 364, 364a, 365, 365a, 366, 366a, 367, 367a, 368, 368a, 369-419, [1] pages. Title-pages printed in red and black, with engraved vignettes. One large folding bird's-eye view of Venice (475x1075 mm), one folding chart of the city (490x570 mm), and 115 double-page plates (395x440 mm), all engraved. Contemporary polished calf, covers within triple gilt fillet. Spine with six raised bands, richly gilt; title in gold on morocco lettering-piece. Marbled flyleaves. Edges marbled. Covers slightly worn and rubbed, front joint partly open. A fine, wide-margined copy, with a very good impression of the plates. Slightly uniformly browned.

First edition of this lavishly illustrated book, which was issued as part of the monumental publication Thesaurus antiquitatum et historiarum Italiae (it is part Secunda and Tertia of the fifth volume) and edited by the German scholar Johann Georg Graevius, a disciple of Daniel Heinsius in Leiden. From 1662 Graevius taught rhetoric, history, and politics at the University of Utrecht, and was well known for his editions of Latin classics as well as the great collection Thesaurus antiquitatum Romanarum.

The forty-five volume Thesaurus antiquitatum et historiarum Italiae was published posthumously by the Leiden printer Vander Aa between 1704 and 1725. Graevius was able to edit only the first six volumes; his pupil Pieter Burmann was responsible for the remaining thirty-nine.

The fine illustrative apparatus supplementing the present volume shows the monuments of Venice, as well as popular and religious festivals, regattas, ceremonies, processions, and parades. The engravings are mainly based on images by Vincenzo Coronelli and Luca Carlevarijs, while the texts are mostly taken from the work of Domenico Martinelli.

These views of Venice were re-issued by Peter Vander Aa in his La galerie agréable du monde (Leiden 1729), and again in 1762 by Cornelis Haak under the title Vües des palais.

Cassini, 69-70; Cicogna 4478; J. Martineau - A. Robinson (eds.), The Glory of Venice: Art in the Eighteenth Century, London 1994; P. G. Hoftijzer, Pieter van der Aa (1659-1733). Leids drukker en boekverkoper, Hilversum 1999; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 227.

On Sailors’ education

259. Scotti, Marcello Eusebio (1742-1800)

Catechismo Nautico o vero de’ particolari doveri della gente marittima. Tratti principalmente dalla S. Bibbia, e dalle massime fondamentali della Religione... Parte prima. Doveri in generale di tutti gli abitatori delle Città marittime. Di Simone, 1788.

8° (182x110 mm). XLIV, 281, [3] pages. Complete with the last blank leaf. Contemporary vellum, over pasteboards. Smooth spine, title and imprint on double morocco lettering-piece. Covers and spine somewhat worn and rubbed. A good, genuine copy; some staining and foxing due to the quality of the paper.

Extremely rare first edition of this catechism written – as signalled by its title, Nautical Catechism – for the education of seamen. The work was originally conceived in three parts, but only the first part, containing the Doveri in generale di tutti gli abitatori delle Città marittime, was published. The second and the third parts were lost – as were all Scotti's papers – during the raid of his house in Procida.

Scotti was born in Naples, into a family originally from the island of Procida. He received his early education at the Chinese College. The abilities he demonstrated in his studies, even at a very early age, were quickly recognized by his teachers who deemed him worthy of becoming their colleague. He chose a religious path to more easily devote himself to his studies. In 1779 he was called to the Academy of Science and Letters in Naples and was later sent to preach in Ischia, Aversa, and Procida. His fame as a preacher grew rapidly, but he was soon accused of spreading 'dangerous' principles of faith. No longer allowed to preach from the pulpit, Scotti undertook the writing of his Nautical Catechism.

The text focuses on the duties of seamen, insisting on the importance of being educated in navigation and commerce, practicing the duties of hospitality, assisting with shipwrecks, and taking care of the education of their wives and daughters, who were so exposed to the dangers of seduction during the long absences of their husbands and fathers. Of particular interest, for the surprisingly liberal views of the author, are the chapters on women's rights and duties.

Originally intended only for the education of sailors on the island of Procida, the work had a broader diffusion and ended up reaching the fishermen of Santa Lucia and the coral divers of Torre del Greco as well.

R. Salvemini, “Introduzione” to M. E. Scotti, Catechismo nautico, Procida 2001; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 259.

Mauritius and the Cape

261. Milbert, Jacques-Gérard (1766-1840)

Voyage pittoresque à l’Île-de-France, au Cap de Bonne-Espérance et à l’Île de Ténériffe. Avec un Atlas composé de trois cartes géographiques, et de quarante-cinq vues pittoresques dessinées sur les lieux, et gravées en partie par l’Auteur. Jean Baptiste Étienne Élie Lenormand for A. Nepveau, 1812.

Set comprising two volumes of text, 8° (202x130 mm), and one-volume atlas, small folio (295x200 mm). Text: I. XIV, 392, [4, Table and Errata] pages. II. [4], 390, [2, Table] pages. Three folding tables. Contemporary half-calf. Spine gilt tooled, titles in gold on morocco lettering-pieces.

Atlas: [4] pages, and forty-five engraved plates, six of which are folding. Slightly later half-shagreen, title in gilt lettering on the spine.

Some marginal foxing, some quires slightly browned, but a very good set. The plates are uncut with deckle edges.

Rare first edition of this travel account illustrated with forty-five plates after Jacques-Gérard Milbert, a painter who accompanied the French expedition sent by Napoleon to explore the 'Mers du Sud' in 1800.

Milbert, a pupil of the great landscape painter Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes, taught drawing at the École nationale supérieure des mines in Paris. In 1800 he embarked on the corvette 'Le Géographe' captained by the explorer Nicolas Baudin.

During the voyage, however, Milbert and several other artists had a conflict with the captain and decided to stop at Mauritius – then called Île-de-France – where he remained for two years. Upon his return, Milbert travelled through the Cape and Tenerife. Back in France, he published the account of his travels in 1812 along with a series of views he had taken in Mauritius, the Cape, and Tenerife.

In 1815, Milbert travelled to the United States, where he would remain for eight years, based in New York, teaching and travelling in the northeastern region.

Galibert Nivoelisoa, Chronobibliographie de la littérature de voyage sur l'océan Indien, Paris 2000, no. 108; M. Ly-Tio-Fane, “Biographie de Jacques-Gérard Milbert (1766-1840)”, J. Bonnemains - M. Ly-Tio-Fane (eds.), Le Géographe et le Naturaliste à l'Île-de-France, 1801, 1803, ultime escale du capitaine Baudin”, Port-Louis 2003, pp. XXXVII-XLI; J. Ryckebusch, Inventaire des ouvrages concernant l'île Bourbon, l'île de la Réunion, ceux imprimés sur place et les ouvrages généraux sur les voyages aux Indes orientales, la traite de l'esclavage, des origines à 1930, Paris 2005, II, 5713, p. 200; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 261.

274. Rothschild, Charlotte Baroness de (1825-1899)

Italie. Souvenir d’un voyage de Nice à Génes par la Corniche. Vingt-trois de mes Dessins. Eaux-fortes. 1869.

Oblong folio (435x600 mm overall; 250x430 mm platemark). Title-page printed in red and black. Twenty-three mounted etchings. Contemporary dark brown shagreen, covers double-ruled. Spine with six raised bands, title lettered in gilt. Minor abrasions to covers, spine partially cracked. Generally the etchings are superb impressions.

Provenance: Baroness Charlotte de Rothschild (ex-libris 'Abaye des Vaux de Cernay. Nathaniel de Rothschild' on the front pastedown).

Extremely rare and charming series of etched views of areas between Côte d'Azur and Genoa, designed by the accomplished painter, amateur printmaker, and art collector Baroness Charlotte de Rothschild. A visual record of one of the great Romantic voyages pittoresques, the journey began in Nice and concluded in Genoa, with stops in Menton, San Remo, etc. From the Parisian branch of this immensely wealthy and cultured family, Charlotte studied watercolours under Eugène Lami, with whom she founded the Society of French Watercolour Painters. Her Parisian salon included such luminaries as Corot, Manet, and Chopin. Published in a small number of copies, strictly for distribution as gifts to family and friends, we have only located two institutional copies: at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Cabinet des Estampes, and at the Bibliothèque de Cessole in Nice.

The copy presented here has a very appropriate provenance, bearing her ex-libris on the front pastedown, with the inscription 'Abaye des Vaux de Cernay. Nathaniel de Rothschild'. The Baroness had bought the Abbaye des Vaux de Cernay, located in the Chevreuse valley, in 1873, after the death of her husband, her English cousin Nathaniel Rothschild (1812-1870).

Most of the plates, as the title indicates, show harbours and coastlines from the viewpoint of the shore, although four are townscapes. The outlines of cities appear in some of the harbour plates as well; the emphasis falls on the romantic celebration of nature, with picturesque elements (fishermen, washer women) providing a sense of scale and enlivening the scenes. Unusually, the place names of the locales depicted are etched in the plate. Proximity is indicated by densely etched areas of black in the foreground, distance by a lighter and lighter line. The pitch-black areas are reminiscent of Manet, who most influenced the artist.

The album represents a quite unknown document, and a significant addition to the corpus of engraving by female artists.

Astengo-Fiaschini, nos. 55, 99, 122, 123, 132, 147, and 160; La route de Gènes. La riviera da Nizza a Genova nelle stampe romantiche francesi, nos. 58-59; M. Hall, “The English Rothschilds”, G. Heuberger (ed.), The Rothschilds: Essays on the History of a European Family, Rochester, NY 1994, pp. 265-286; P. Prévost-Marcilhacy, “Charlotte de Rothschild: artiste, collectionneur et mécène”, Histoires d'art, (2008), pp. 252-265; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 274.