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D'Aprèe de MANNEVILLETTE. Le Neptune Oriental dédié au Roi.. (Paris c.1775)

Jean Baptiste Nicolas Denis d'Apres de Mannevillette (11 February 1707, Le Havre - 1 March 1780, Lorient )
He was a famous French sailor and hydrograph. He corrected and published all the existing charts of the route to China: the Red Sea, the coasts of India, Malaya, the northern parts of Indonesia, Indochina and China.

Mr Jean Baptiste Nicolas Denis Apres de Mannevilletted'Apres de Mannevillette was the son of a French sea-captain and at the age of twelve sailed with his father to Bengal. After his return he studied astronomy and geometry in Paris. During a long career in the French merchant marine, starting as fourth officer in 1726, he visited many parts of the world and collected valuable navigational information. He studied under the famous Guillaume Delisle, the King's geographer. He experimented with improved scientific instruments and navigational methods. During his voyage to China in 1728 he was the first to use the octant (or Hadley's quadrant) on a voyage to measure latitudes, and determined longitudes by measuring the angular distance between the moon and sun and succeeded in correcting the latitudes of many place.
He first visited the Cape of Good Hope in 1737 while on his way to China as a lieutenant aboard the Prince de Conti. During his many voyages d'Apres de Mannevillette created a number of charts for a hydrographic atlas which, with the support of the Academie des Sciences, was published in Paris in 1745 under the title "Le Neptune Oriental" with 25 maps. The atlas contained charts of the route to China: the Red Sea, the coasts of India, Malaya, the northern parts of Indonesia, Indochina and China.
'The new sea atlas quickly found its way into the pilot cabins of ships of several nations, and its 22 charts were immediately recognised as being superior to all previous maps of Southeast Asian coasts' (Suárez p.238).

1745
In 1745 he published an important collection of sea-charts titled Le Neptune oriental which established his reputation as a cartographer and remained authoritative for more than half a century. In 1751 his work on navigational instruments and methods, Description et usage d'un nouvel instrument pour observer la latitude sur mer... was published in Paris. It included a discussion of the new English quadrant and various observational methods.

In April 1751, as captain of the Le Glorieux, he again arrived at the Cape, bringing the French astronomer N. L. de la Caille for an extended stay and assisting the latter in his preliminary determination of an improved longitude for Cape Town. He surveyed the Cape Peninsula, but unfavourable weather prevented him from carrying out his instructions to survey the southern Cape coastline.
During 1752 he determined the latitudes and longitudes of Mauritius and Reunion, and returned to the Cape in March of that year in command of the Treize Cantons to survey the South African coast. Two of the resulting coastal charts represented a great improvement on earlier efforts and were added to later editions of his Le Neptune oriental. The first, probably based at least partly on his survey of 1752, is titled Carte Particuliere de la Cote D'Afrique depuis le Cap des Courans jusqua la Bay de Ste Helene. Though its author is not mentioned, experts ascribe it to D'Apres de Mannevillette and date it to about 1755.
The second, Carte Reduite de la Cote Meridionale d'Afrique, covering all of South Africa, was published in the 1775 edition of Le Neptune oriental... and was included in the C.J. van de Graaff collection of maps. His other maps include a detailed sea chart of the Cape of Good Hope from Saldanha Bay to False Bay, published in Paris in 1752. It includes soundings in Saldanha Bay, Table Bay, False Bay and around Robben Island and Dassen Island. He also produced views of False Bay and the roadstead in Simon's Bay, as well as a plan of Simon's Bay, in 1775.

In 1762 the Compagnie des Indes (French East India Company) appointed D'Apres de Mannevillette as director of maps and plans at Lorient, and five years later he was decorated with the order of St. Michael. In 1765 he published his Memoire sur la navigation de France aux Indes, which was translated into English (1769) and Dutch (1770), and served all who sailed round the Cape to the East. The 1768 edition includes descriptions of Tristan da Cunha, False Bay, and Simon's Bay.

1775
Mannevillette spent 30 years, often in concert with his friend and eminent British hydrographer Alexander Dalrymple, working on the second edition of his maritime atlas. It was substantially enlarged from the first edition of 1745 and was heavily used throughout the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th centuries. Most maps are now correted with paste-on labels, and among the many new charts prepared by Dalrymple among the famous map of Hong Kong area. This comprehensive atlas was used on all French ships for navigating the Indian Ocean. It replaced the "English Pilot" published by John Thornton in 1700 and the charts of the van Keulens, the hydrographers of the Dutch East India Company.

This second edition eventually required a supplement, published posthumously in 1781 and reissued in 1797.



Le Neptune Oriental dédié au Roi. Second editon. A París, rue S. Severin... ; Et A Brest : Chez Demonville, Imprimeur-Libraire de l'Academie Francoise... : Chez Malassos, Imprimeur-Libraire de la Marine, 1775. Large folio. ([4] p., x p., 194 col., [4] p., 59 h. de lam.) : 69 maps. ; 57 x 47 cm.
Large folio, contemp. gilted motted calf, spine richly gilt in compartments with red morocco label, restored spine. Size of book block 550 x 430mm. Engraved allegorical title by J.B. Tilliard after Francois Boucher, title, dedication with large engraved vignette (2pp.), Table des articles (1p.), Extrait des register de l’academie Royale de Marine du 9 Mars 1773 with Privilege du Roi (3pp), Préface (10pp.), Instructions sur la navigation de France aux Indes, 194pp. Tables des Variations with Avis au Relieur (3pp.) followed by 63 engraved charts, numbered from 1 to 59. On thick paper, a few charts in the last part with very light marginal waterstains sometime running into the engraved area.
As usual, the charts not numbered as per contents list; No. 10 in index as "Carte à placer" and no chart has been added, Chart 19 misbound and chart 46 is not present but according to contents list "Carte de l'isle de Java" actually present as chart 44.The Neptune Oriental was a changeable publication and the Shirley and Phillips catalogues reveals no systematic standardisation of the copies they collated. Shirley records several variations of the 1775 edition, each with differing totals. Most charts are now correted with paste-on labels.

The second, much enlarged, edition of the important French Sea Atlas of the Red Sea, India, the East Indies, Indochina and Formosa.



The second edition includes some fine maps of the Arabian Peninsular. One of the charts covers the central portion of the western coast of present-day Saudi Arabia. Jeddah, the largest port on the Red Sea and a major gateway to Mecca, is the only city shown. The rest of the detail is confined to the sea, which is filled with rhumb lines, soundings, hazards, shoals, and anchorages.

Carte d'une partie des Côtes de la Chine et des Isles adjacentes depuis l'Isle nommée la Pierre Blanche, jusqu'à celle de l'Artimon.
was among the new charts prepared by Dalrymple and centered on Hong Kong area. This most important milestone chart was based upon the surveys made from navigational surveys and soundings in 1754, 1759, and 1760 by Alexander Dalrymple. The chart extends from just West of Macao which is shown as is the Bocca. Tigris narrows on the Pearl River to the North. Prominently shown are the islands around present-day Hong Kong with Lantao and Lamma both identified.
Hong Kong island is shown and identified as Fanchinchow with its island nature only tentatively shown. The promontories of Stanley Peak and D'Agular Peaks both tentatively shown in dotted outline.
A simply engraved but important .
Latitude and longitude scales and system of rhumb lines, soundings near coast and in bay areas.


The second edition contains an updated, now double page chart of the tip of Malaysia with Singapore " Nouvelle carte des mers comprises entre le détroit de Banca et P°. Timon avec la partie orientale du détroit de Malacca.". One of the earliest detailed maps of Singapore area, labelled "Vieux Detroit de Sincapura" and "Detroit de Sincapura Neuf".

The chart of Manilla Bay "Plan de la baye et Ville de Manille, Capitale des Isles de Philippines...", was also updated for the second edition. The chart extends from the North coast of Mindoro Island to north of Pointe de Capones, centred on Manilla Bay and Subec Bay.
That the area to the southward of Manila Bay is greatly distorted of course is self-evident. The wide opening into Laguna de Tual seems to be an attempt to show the Pansipit River.

Five of the charts in this collection are copies of the work of Alexander Dalrymple, the eminent British Hydrographer; laid down chiefly from his personal observations made in 1761, 1762, 1763 and 1764, and printed according to an Act of Parliament. These five charts are Charts 33, 52, 54, 55, and 56 titled respectively: Chart of the Northern Part of the Bay of Bengal; A Chart of the China Sea; A Map of part of Borneo and the Sooloo Archipelago; A Chart of Felicia and Plan of the Island of Balambangan; and The Sooloo Archipelago.

Alexander Dalrymple (1737-1808) was appointed a Writer in the service of the East India Company in 1752. On his first voyage to the East from India, Dalrymple visited Sulu and concluded a commercial treaty with the Sultan. This voyage was the means of giving the English a share in the spice trade, which was previously controlled by the Dutch. On his second voyage, in 1763, he obtained a grant for the company on the island of Balambangan and of the north end of Borneo and the south end of Palawan, with the intermediate islands. Thus began the holdings of the present British North Borneo Company. From the time of his return to England in 1765 he was almost constantly engaged in collecting and arranging materials for a full exposition of the importance of the Eastern Islands and the South Seas. In 1779, he was appointed by the East India Company to examine their ships' journals and publish charts and nautical instruments which eventually amounted to 58 charts, 740 plans, 57 views of land and 50 nautical memoirs. These apparently were compiled from all known sources.
That he must have collaborated with DeMannevillette and borrowed from his work, as well as DeMannevillette borrowing from him,

Contents Some of the other charts are : Carte réduite de l'Océan Oriental Septentrional (La Mer Rouge - Ceylan).
Entrée de la Mer Rouge.
Plan Particulier du Golfe de Perse.. Jusqu'à Bassora.
Gusurat, Concan, Decan.
[Coste de Canara, de Malabar].
Carte Plate qui comprend l'Isle de Ceylan et une partie des costes de Malabar et de Coromandel.
[Coste de Coromandel]
[Gergelin Orixa Bengal].
Carte Réduite de l'Archipel des Indes Orientales..
Carte Plate du Golfe du Bengal.. Jusqu' à l'Embouchure du Gange.
Plan de l'Archipel de Mergui.. Jusqu'aux Isles Ste Susane.
Plan de l'Isle de Junkseilon.
Plan Particulier de la Rade d'Achem.
Plan Particulier du Détroit de Malaca..
Carte Plate de la cote occidentale de l'Isle Sumatra.
Carte de la cote occidentale de l'Isle Sumatra jusq'au Détroit de la Sonde.
[Isle de Java].
Carte qui comprend le Détroit de la Sonde Jusqu' à Batavia.
Carte Plate Qui comprend une partie des Isles Java & Sumatra..
Nouveau Plan du Détroit de Banca…
Nouvelle carte des mers comprises entre le détroit de Banca et P°. Timon avec la partie orientale du détroit de Malacca(double page).
Carte Plate qui comprend le Golfe de Siam..
Carte Plate qui comprend les Costes de Tsiompa de la Cochinchine.. Avec une partie de l'Archipel des Isles Philippines.

References: Phillips, Alases, 3166.

Price : 25,000 US$






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