FIRST EDITION OF BURCHETT’S NAVAL HISTORY, 1720, WITH NINE DOUBLE-PAGE MAPS BY HERMAN MOLL
BURCHETT, Josiah. A Complete History of the Most Remarkable Transactions at Sea, from the Earliest Accounts of Time to the Conclusion of the Last War with France. London: J. Walthoe, 1720. Folio (8-1/2 by 13 inches), contemporary full paneled calf expertly rebacked, raised bands, brown morocco spine label.
First edition, with engraved frontispiece, engraved portrait of the author by Vertue and nine double-page maps by famous Dutch mapmaker Herman Moll, bound in handsome contemporary calf boards.
“The first British authority which sought to achieve the bold and perilous undertaking of chronicling occurrences afloat from the earliest accounts of time” (Allibone, 285). A one-time clerk of Samuel Pepys, Burchett’s tenure as Secretary of the Admiralty “included the whole French war during the reigns of William III and Anne, during which every document of importance passed through his hands” (DNB). His comprehensive volume spans naval history from ancient Egypt to the early 18th century. “The last half… has exceptional value. Writing of events concerning which he had very full and accurate information… his expressions of opinion carry great weight” (DNB). With woodcut historiated initials, head- and tailpieces; title page printed in red and black; and nine double-page engraved maps by Herman Moll. “It was in the 18th century that [Moll] made his mark, becoming in the second two decades the foremost map publisher in England” (Tooley Africa, 77). With errata at rear. Sabin 9205. Lowndes, 313. Van de Gohm, 59. Bookplate.
Minor wax stains to pages 280 and 287. Four maps with mild foxing, remaining maps and text remarkably clean and fresh. An excellent, handsome copy.