Natuurkundige Beschrijving der Zeën.
's Gravenhage, by de Compagnie, 1786. Folio (415 x 265mm). pp. (4), xxv, (1), 216, with a hand-coloured engraved frontispiece and 52 engraved plates of which 50 beautifully hand-coloured. Contemporary half calf, gilt ornamented spine with red gilt lettered label (small repair to foot of spine).
The very rare coloured issue of this great classic on marine science. Luigi Ferdinando Marsili (Marsilli or Marsigli) is considered the founding father of modern oceanography. "In 1724 he published the first treatise on oceanography, 'Histoire physique de la mer'. In it he treated problems which until then had been veiled by error and legend. Marsili examined every aspect of the subject: the morphology of the basin and relationship between the lands under and above water; the water's properties (color, temperature, salinity) and its motion (waves, currents, tides); and biology of the sea, which foretold the advent of marine botany. Among the plants he numbered animals like corals, which before his time had been regarded as inorganic matter" (DSB). "In several aspects, Marsigli was a pioneer in hydrographical surveying. He was the first to draw depth-lines on a sea chart. This was a map of the Gulf of Lion, published in his work 'Histoire physique de la mer' (I.C. Koeman, Atlantes Neerlandici II, p.274). Count Marsigli was a Bolognese scientist nobleman, served in the army of Emperor Leopold I and attained high rank. He was the founder of the Accademia delle Scienze dell'Istituto di Bologna and became member in 1722 of the Royal Society and was introduced by Newton. Marsigli's first essay on this subject under the title "Osservazioni naturali intorno al mare" was published in Venice, 1711. An extended version was issued "Histoire physique de la Mer" in Amsterdam, 1725, of which the above offered edition is a translation. Preface in Latin and Dutch by H. Boerhave. The colouring of the plates is exquisite. The plates show sponges, corals, algae, sea-weeds etc. The beautifully coloured allegorical frontispiece shows Neptune seated on a shell and surrounded by corals, shells and fish. Plates 1-5 are double page maps, 6-11 are likewise double page. A large uncut and beautifully preserved copy. Provenance: Armorial bookplate of Luyken Landfort on inside frontcover as well as a small stamp of 'Haus Landfort' on title. Nissen ZBI, 2700.
Item nr. 8685
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