TREATISE ON NAVAL MINES
BY LEADING FRENCH NAVAL OFFICER & MILITARY ENGINEER
MONTGÉRY, Jacques-Philippe Mérigon de. Mémoire sur les mines flottantes et les petards flottans, ou machines infernales maritimes.
Paris, Bachlier, libraire pour la marine (printed by De Fain), 1819. 8vo. With a finely engraved folding copperplate of a ship being blown up by a mine (16.5 x 17.5 cm). Lacking the half-title and the final leaf with the publisher's list of books, but with the folding plate, often lacking. Contemporary half tree calf, stormont marbled sides.
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First and only edition of a treatise on naval mines, an early work by the French naval officer Jacques-Philippe Mérigon de Montgéry (1781-1839), later well-known as a military engineer, pyrotechnician and chronicler of the history of rockets. The folding plate is very finely engraved, pointing the way toward the steel engraving that stood poised to take over the high end of the market for book illustration. A supposed 1814 edition (OCLC WorldCat without location) appears to be a ghost.
With library stamps (that on the title-page cancelled). The present copy lacks the half-title (with the printer's name on the back) and the last leaf, with a two-page list of books offered by Bachlier, but includes the folding plate, which appears to be lacking in the two copies that have been scanned for the Internet. Otherwise in very good condition, with occasional foxing (mostly restricted to the title-page). The front hinge is cracked and worn, with the head and foot of the backstrip damaged, but the binding is otherwise very good.