Les Premieres Oeuvres de Jacques deVaulx, pillote en la marine


Date: 1584



First published by Le Havre-born "Naval Pilot to the King" Jacques Devaulx in 1583, this extraordinary illuminated manuscript is a navigation, hydrography and cartography treaty for seafarers. A second slightly improved version dates from 1584.

Dedicated to the Duke of Joyeuse, this book collates nautical, astronomical, and cartographic ideas as well as Devaulx’s own extensive notes, observations, and records as a seafarer, hydrographer, cosmographer, and cartographer.

An encyclopedic reference for sailors, as well as a magnificent maritime showpiece for his royal employers, the elaborately annotated and decorated folios are a repertoire of naval and cosmographic tools and techniques, including astrolabes, nautical charts of the Atlantic Ocean, tabular statements of diurnal tides, astrological charts, and measurements for solar altitude.

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They also gather Devaulx’s volvelles, wheel charts made of rotating parts that are today considered an early example of the paper analog computer. Together, the folios encapsulate the state of knowledge at a time when sailors pushed the limits of sea exploration and offer a glimpse into the practical daily requirements of Renaissance seafaring.

The illustrations represent the search for longitude by the micrometry of the magnet, the measurement of the magnetic declination on the mainland with a compass and an alidade aimed at the polar star, the observation of the angular height of a celestial body with Jacob's staff. A folio also shows three land - based navigators using compasses and the astrolabe to try to find their longitude. The way of arranging the wind roses is illustrated.

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Publisher: [Manuscript]




BNF Gallica

ISBN-10: N/A

Date Added: 2019-06-01

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