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MORTIER, Pierre

Les Costes de France et d'Espagne sur l'ocean et sur la mer Méditerranée

Pierre Mortier, Amsterdam, c.1700
Oblong quarto (315 x 410 mm.), two volumes in one, full contemporary mottled calf, with raised bands to the spine, each compartment with ornate gilt decoration, gilt title, rebacked, new endpapers. With typographic title to first volume printed in red and black, engraved frontispiece of ships in harbour and 20 engraved maps; typographic title to second volume printed in red and black, 20 engraved maps. The whole in early wash colour, re-guarded, the 40 maps consisting of a folding ‘Boussole des vents’ (cleanly torn along fold with some loss), ‘Carte Générale’ and 38 engraved charts lettered A-MM, chart of Catalonia slightly affected by damp and with small hole in Minorca, final chart of Provence creased and with repaired tear touching on plate, other small repairs, some light marginal soiling.
A rare sea atlas complete in itself, but also forming parts 13-14 of Pierre Mortier’s ‘Les Forces de l’Europe, Asie, Afrique et Amerique, ou Description des principales villes avec leurs fortifications’, Amsterdam, 1702. This work in its first incarnation was published in Paris by S. Cramoisy in 1634, under the title ‘Cartes générales et particulières de toutes les côtes de France’, with charts after Christophe Tassin. After the expiration of the ten year royal privilege, Tassin sold the plates to Nicolas Berey and Antoine de Fer. A first edition under Nicolas de Fer’s editorship, with many modifications to the plates, appeared in Paris in 1690, and re-edited again in 1695. Mortier proceeded to engrave exact copies of de Fer’s plates, and published his piracy sometime around 1700. The 20 coastal charts in volume I of this piracy conform with those in the 1695 edition. However, those in volume II differ and Spain has a stronger representation (Spain is omitted from Fer’s original title). Mortier’s ‘Les Forces de l’Europe, Asie, Afrique et Amerique …’ was a Dutch edition of Nicolas De Fer’s book of the same title. It was originally conceived in response to the rise in interest and popularity of Vauban’s systems of fortifications. This work was designed to be an additional maritime atlas identified on the titles as parts 13 and 14.

There are inconsistencies in the reported number of plates. WorldCat calls for 38 lettered plates and 2 not lettered, as found in our copy, and agreeing with Van der Krogt. Some copies include two wind charts rather than one as here. Provenance: F. Mikoszewski 1800 (stamp at bottom margin of final chart); Mopelia Collection, Christie’s, London, 5 June 2019 lot 76. Pastoureau Fer VIII C (calling for 20 charts – vol. I only?); Palau 87687; Phillips, Atlases 2781a; Shirley BL M.FER-1d (31 charts); Van der Krogt IV-1, 482:2.
Stock number: 9738

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