First edition of this magnificent and seminal atlas, in fine full-wash colour
By JAILLOT, Alexis Hubert [and] MORTIER, Pieter , 1693

Le Neptune François ou Atlas Nouveau des Cartes Marine Levées et Gravées par Ordre Exprés du Roy … [TOGETHER WITH]: Cartes Marines a l’Usage des Armese Du Roy de la Grande Bretagne … gravées et recueillies par le Sr. Romain de Hooge.

  • Author: JAILLOT, Alexis Hubert [and] MORTIER, Pieter
  • Publication place: Amsterdam & Paris
  • Publisher: Hubert Jaillot & Pierre Mortier
  • Publication date: 1693.
  • Physical description: Two parts in one volume, folio (660 by 520mm), two engraved frontispieces, two titles, table to determine the days of the week, three full-page plates of ships, 38 engraved sea charts (of which 34 are double-page, two full-page, and two folding), the nine maps in the second part all engraved by Romeyn de Hooghe, all in FINE ORIGINAL COLOUR, a few charts backed with japan paper, contemporary calf, panelled covers gilt, large gilt central tool of Atlas, rebacked preserving part of original spine, spine in nine compartments separated by raised bands, each with central armillary sphere tool, gilt.
  • Inventory reference: 1025


‘The Neptune François’ bound here with the second part ‘Cartes Marines à l’usage … du Roy de la Grande Bretagne’ together form “the most expensive sea-atlas ever published in Amsterdam in the seventeenth century” (Koeman). Although the imprint to the title page states that the atlas was published in Paris by Hubert Jaillot, the atlas was, in fact, produced and issued by Jaillot’s publishing partner, Pierre Mortier, in Amsterdam. The reason for Mortier’s reticence was commercial: a grand French atlas was much more likely to sell with a Parisian imprint.

The first part contains 29 charts, which detail European waters from the Baltic to Portuguese coast. They are not only more lavish than any of those produced previously, but are also drawn upon Mercator’s Projection – only the second sea atlas to do so (for the first see item 16).

The second part, ‘Cartes marines a l’usage des armées du Roy de la Grande Bretagne’, which contains a further nine charts of European waters, consistutes “the most spectacular type of maritime cartography ever produced in seventeenth century Amsterdam” (Koeman). All the charts were engraved by one of the leading engravers of the day, Romeyn de Hooghe. De Hooghe was at the time in the service of King William III of England, and dedicates the large chart of the South East of England to him. The most impressive chart in the atlas is that of the Mediterranean, with its beautifully rendered floral garlands and the vignettes of Mediterranean cities. The charts bears a privilege dated 1694, which suggests that the edition with French title, although dated 1693, was not published before 1694.

The description given by Koeman differs on one point from the present example. In the first part, the first ship is called ‘Vaisseau Royal d’Angleterre’ and not ‘Vaisseau du premier rang portent pavillon d’Admiral’, as given by Koeman.


  1. Koeman M. Mor. 1, 4
  2. Pastoureau, Neptune Français Ba
  3. Shirley, BL, M.MORT-1a, M.MORT-2a.

Image gallery