MORTIER, Pieter (1661-1711). Le Neptune Francois, ou atlas nouveau des cartes marines. Levees et gravees par order expres du Roy, pour l'usage de ses armees de Mer. Paris: H. Jaillot, 1693 [but Amsterdam: Pieter Mortier, 1693].
MORTIER, Pieter (1661-1711). Le Neptune Francois, ou atlas nouveau des cartes marines. Levees et gravees par order expres du Roy, pour l'usage de ses armees de Mer. Paris: H. Jaillot, 1693 [but Amsterdam: Pieter Mortier, 1693]. Two parts in one volume. Large folio (25 x 19 ¾ in.; 63.5 x 50.1 cm.). Part I: letterpress title-page printed in red and black with fine engraved vignette with original hand-colour in full, ELABORATE AND EXCEPTIONALLY FINE engraved allegorical title-page by Jan van Vianen, after the original by P. La Pautre after J. Berrin with original hand-colour in full and HEIGHTENED IN GOLD, full-page engraved plate of comparative nautical scales in Dutch, French and English, 3 FINE engraved plates of ships with original hand-colour in full and HEIGHTENED IN GOLD, 29 double-page engraved charts, all with original hand-colour in full (many plates with archival tissue on verso to strengthen areas of oxidation; Part II: "Cartes Marines a l'usage des armees du Roy de la Grande Britagne, letterpress title-page printed in red and black with fine engraved vignette with original hand-colour in full, ELABORATE AND EXCEPTIONALLY FINE engraved allegorical title-page by Romein de Hooghe, 9 elaborately engraved and etched charts, mostly double-page of the French and English coasts and including a large folding chart of the Mediterranean all by Romein de Hooghe, incorporating finely-detailed insets showing ports and harbours, all with original hand-colour in full, and with the compass roses and towns HEIGHTENED IN GOLD. FINE contemporary Dutch gilt paneled mottled calf, each cover decorated with two panels of flower and acorn roll tools, fine gilt globe tools at each corner and a central gilt stamp of Atlas carrying the world within an arabesque border, the spine decorated in seven compartments with 8 raised bands, black morocco lettering-piece in one, the others decorated with gilt globe tools. PROVENANCE: with the near contemporary ownership inscription of J. Jackson on the front free endpaper; the engraved portrait bookplate of James Gibbs (1682-1754), English architect "the architect most in vogue" (Horace Walpole), on the front paste-down; Christopher Henry Beaumont Pease, Lord Wardington (1924-2005), Library of Important Atlases and Geographies, his sale Sothebys' 10th October 2006, lot 317. THE FIRST ISSUE of this pirated Amsterdam edition, published at the end of June 1693, with French, Dutch and English text. A MAGNIFICENT COPY, the plates beautifully coloured in a contemporary hand, highlighted in gilt, and in an exceptionally fine contemporary Dutch binding. Published by Pieter Mortier, a Frenchman who settled in Amsterdam, where he established himself as one of the leading map-publishers of his day. The charts were exactly re-engraved after the originals by H. van Loon and C. Berey. During the first ten years of its life the work was supplemented, as here, by Mortier's "Atlas maritime ", with charts engraved by Romein de Hooghe in 1693, and then by the "Suite du Neptune François" of 1700. Apart from the present volume, which was reissued in 1700 and 1703, none of the atlases were republished and none of these editions after the first had the Paris imprint. Truusje Goedings, renowned expert in Dutch colourists of the 17th-century, writes of this copy: "This tall edition contains two atlases both published by Mortier: a so-called contre-facon atlas copied after Jaillot's Marine Atlas, and an original edition, the very decorative, 9-charts Sea Atlas made and engraved by Romeyn de Hooghe. They were also sold separately but are most often found bound together, like this copy. To this double-volume Mortier added six years later, in 1700, another volume or Suite that contained charts after Portuguese originals. These editions are often found coloured in a very consistent style, which indicates a publisher's colouring. The fine, elaborate first title-engraving has been treated fully and detailed and has often at least a few tiny details heightened with gold. The maps have a full or half-full colouring of the land-regions in flat but expressive bright hues of transparent rosa, yellow, and green, with addition of some pale orange and greyish blue, all applied evenly but often with lots of pigment, and heavily contrasting with the white of the paper of the mostly uncoloured waterplanes. Often the green has turned into a dark yellow-brown, due to the use of an apparently biting variant (or mixture) of coppergreen. Decorations are fully coloured, and dominated by darker varieties of green, pink and bright to dark red. This very specific, expressive kind of colouring is comparable to the colouring often seen in Van Keulen's atlases, and the later, paler variant of Homan and Seutter. THIS ARADER COPY HAS AN OUTSPOKEN DE-LUXE COLORING. The colouring of the maps is executed in the same expressive way and with the same colours as mentioned above though more elaborate and with more attention to details such as marks of places, mountains and woods. Gold has been applied lavishly and combined with silver at the first title-engraving, and in small decorative details of the plates and maps. That Mortier indeed organized the colouring, and how he valuated this, can be found in an undated and very rare catalogue which must have been issued about ca. 1700. (see my article on De Hooghe, 2008/9). Here Mortier offered his 2-volume sea-atlases in a white and in four coloured versions with raising prices: Atlas de Mer, ou le Neptune François, qui contient toute les Côtes du Monde, se vend aux prix suivans, sans être relié. Le NEPTUNE ou ATLAS de MER complet en 2. Vol. non Enluminé. 44 - 0 Le même avec les Cartes seules Enluminées 50 - 0 Ledit ATLAS avec les navires, les Pavillons & le tout Enluminure 60 - 0 Ledit ATLAS, à double Enlumineure de diverses Couleurs pour mieux distinguer la Terre de l'Eau, & les divisions de Cartes, &c. avec les Navires, & les Pavillons aussi Enluminés 67 - 0 Ledit Atlas tres-belle Enluminure, avec de l'or 84 - 0 So, the price of an uncoloured copy (consisting of the copied Jaillot and De Hooghe's Atlas Marine) was fl. 44,-; a copy with 'the charts only' coloured was fl. 50,- ; a completely coloured copy including. Bookseller Inventory # 11.5-1-4 Price: $1,800,000.