(London: Printed for the author and sold by Charles Wilson, 1856). 222 x 137 mm. (8 3/4 x 5 3/8"). xii, 336; xliv, 360 pp. Sixteenth (Stereotyped) Edition.
Very plain contemporary sprinkled sheep, flat spine divided into panels by single gilt rules, dun-colored endpapers. With nine engraved plates depicting nautical charts and instruments of navigation. Front pastedown with 19th-century ink signature of Charles Watson. Tiny cracks just beginning at top and bottom of joints, minor smudge on upper cover, lower board with small trailing wormhole, minor offsetting from plates, but still AN ESPECIALLY FINE COPY, entirely bright, fresh, and clean inside and out.
In its original simple sheepskin binding, this copy of the standard navigation guide for the 19th century is a remarkable survival. Hydrographer and navigation writer John William Norie (1772-1843) operated a "nautical academy" for men intending to pursue a career at sea, and he wrote this work after becoming frustrated with the inaccuracies in the navigation manuals that were available to his pupils. The "Tables" mentioned in the title first appeared in 1803; the "Epitome" was issued in 1805; and editions containing one or both were very often reprinted. According to DNB, "Norie's charts and books, particularly the 'Tables' and 'Epitome,' made his name well known among seamen for nearly two centuries, a success due to his teaching ability, prolific output, and commercial shrewdness." This is obviously not an uncommon work, but because it is a practical guide that was generally used until it fell apart, copies like the essentially untouched present example are rarely seen. (ST12135)
Add to Cart Price: $750.00
PJP Catalog: 67.266