DES BARRES, JOSEPH F. WALLET. 1722-1824.
[The Sea Coast of Nova Scotia... surveyed by Joseph Frederick Wallet Des Barres Esq. London: The Admiralty. 1775-77.] Engraved general title, letterpress contents leaf, engraved table of 'References' showing various hydrographic symbols and scales, 3 letterpress leaves of sailing directions, 2 coastal profiles and 31 engraved charts (of 33, several on many sheets, folding), many with inset views. Large folio (730 x 540 mm). Original brown wrappers, torn. Occasional light spotting, a few maps shaved at margins, a few small tears.
An interesting early series of the Nova Scotia section of Des Barres's Atlantic Neptune. In this copy the existence of the original wrappers, the detailed contents list, the 'References', and the ink-stamped numbering of the sheets, all suggest that it was released in 1778 to satisfy demand, before the final work was published in 1784. Both Phillips 1198 and National Maritime Museum Catalogue 3, 320, give collations for complete sets of the Atlantic Neptune which mix up the Nova Scotia charts with various views and profiles.
Des Barres, a Swiss, studied military engineering in England, and was soon posted to Quebec, working with Wolfe during the Quebec campaign. He assisted James Cook on his large scale chart of the St. Lawrence, and from 1763-1773 he carried out his major survey of Nova Scotia for the Admiralty, returning to England in 1774. The publication was completed in 1784. Des Barres returned to Cape Breton and Prince Edward Island as Governor, dying in 1824 at the age of 103.
Included with the lot are 11 other later coastal profiles and harbour views from the Atlantic Neptune.