5 December 2006
[ATLAS]. ROUX, Joseph, publisher. Carte de la Mer Mediteranée en Douze Feuilles. Marseille, 1764.
2o (each unfolding to approximately 607 x 820 mm). 12 engraved charts (some pale soiling and spotting, occasional small chips and wear affecting small areas). Contemporary calf (a bit worn). Provenance: Eliphalet Woodbury (signature on front free endpaper and note: "Eliphalet Woodbury bought in Newbury Port Prise [sic] five dollars in 1807").
Joseph Roux owned a chart-publishing and selling business in Marseilles during the middle and latter part of the eighteenth century. A copy of this atlas was used aboard Nelson's flagship, HMS Victory, in 1802 and 1803--a fact which shows that the Royal Navy was relying on British and foreign privately printed charts even after Alexander Dalrymple had established the Admiralty Hydrographic Office in 1795.
WITH A FINE AMERICAN PROVENANCE: the owner was most certainly Eliphalet Woodbury (1783-1815), captain of several schooners built in Amesbury and Salisbury, Massachusetts, including the Hannah which he owned from 1807. It is purported that he purchased these charts when he became a captain at the age of 24; he was lost at sea at 32. Portraits of Woodbury and his wife, Abigail Brown, by Moses Depre Cole are in the Historical Society of Old Newbury at the Cushing House, Newburyport. NMM III:267; Phillips Atlases 195.
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