The 2017 Olympia Book Fair is now closed.

We are excited to announce that in 2018 the Fair is relocating
to Battersea Evolution, 24-26 May 2018.
Carleton House
92 Malone Road
Belfast
BT9 5HP
Contact Peter Rowan
Telephone 02890 666448
Specialists Ireland, Irish History & Culture, Manuscripts, Maps, Literature, Economics, Sciences, History of Ideas, Travel, Rare Books in all fields (15th to 20th Centuries)
VIEW DEALER INFORMATION
Carleton House
92 Malone Road
Belfast
BT9 5HP
Contact Peter Rowan
Telephone 02890 666448
Specialists Ireland, Irish History & Culture, Manuscripts, Maps, Literature, Economics, Sciences, History of Ideas, Travel, Rare Books in all fields (15th to 20th Centuries)
P & B Rowan
Stand F02

THE FIRST TREATISE ON OCEANOGRAPHY

MARSIGLI, Louis Ferdinand, Comte de

Histoire physique de la mer. Ouvrage enrichi de figures desinées d'après le naturel., Amsterdam: Aux De'pens de la Compagnie 1725

first edition in French folio [8], xii, 173, [1 (blank)]pp., title page printed in red and black, fine engraved allegorial frontispiece, 2 folding maps, 50 plates of which 8 are folding, plates engraved by M. Pool, contemporary vellum, spine with gilt double fillet bands at head and tail and with large gilt tool below the dark red morocco label gilt, marbled endpapers, spine slightly soiled, few scratches on sides, some minor dustiness at edges, short closed tear to bottom margin (no loss) of frontispiece, unobtrusive and neat old stamp on dedication leaf, nice copy.

Provenance
Contemporary engraved armorial bookplate of Sr. William Codrington, Bart. of Dodington, Gloustershire, and with the later quite attractive bookplate of Belfast's Linen Hall Library (with neat discarded stamp).

Note
Marsili (or Marsigli) (b. Bologna, 1688 - 1730) "combined a love of travel with the sharp eye of an observer imbued with the Galilean method. .. As a naturalist [he] undertook the exploration of two basic subjects: the structure of the mountains and the natural condition of the sea, lakes, and rivers. .... The sea had fascinated Marsili since childhood. In 1681 he published a study of the Bosporus, the result of observations that he made at the age of twenty. It contained valid findings, notably the discovery of a countercurrent with waters of different density beneath the surface current of the strait. He later travelled around the Mediterranean, doing research mainly along the coasts of the Romagna and Provence. The keenness of his mind often made up for the crudeness of his instruments during these travels. 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 relationships between the lands under and above water; the water's properties (color, temperature, salinity) and its motion (waves, currents, tides); and the biology of the sea, which foretold the advent of marine biology. Among the plants he numbered animals like corals, which before his time had been regarded as inorganic matter. Finally, Marsili was the precursor of the systematic oceanographic exploration that was to begin half a century with the famous voyage of the Endeavour. ... Marsili was also a skilled organizer of scientific work. In 1712 he founded the Accademia dell Scienze dell'Istituto di Bologna, which, under his influence, immediately became an active center of scientific research. .. When [he] went to London in 1722, to be made a member of the Royal Society, Sir Isaac Newton insisted on presenting him personally and praised him in his speech" [Dictionary of Scientific Biography].
This book is primarily based on data gathered at the marine laboratory which Marsilli established in 1706 in Marseilles, and which was the first of its kind ever founded. It was published at the urging of Herman Boerhaave, who had the book translated from the Italian, saw it through the press, and supplied a preface.
Collation: pi 2 *1, *2, (a)-(c)2, A-Z2, Aa-Vv2, Xx1, with pi 1v the frontispiece and pi 2r the title page.
£3,850