7 - 8 April 2004
MASSON-ABRAHAM, Laurent (1730-c.1800). Calendrier Astronomique, Politique et Historique des Colonies, Isles de France et de Bourbon, pour l'année 1789. Mauritius: l'Imprimerie Royale, 1789.
12° (159 x 100mm). Printed on blue paper, woodcut tailpieces. (Occasional light surface soiling or browning, small neat repair to final leaf.) Near-contemporary green straight-grained paper, spine tooled in gilt (extremities lightly rubbed).
A RARE, EARLY CALENDAR AND DIRECTORY, 'THE MOST REMARKABLE ALMANAC PUBLISHED IN ISLE DE FRANCE' (Toussaint). Almanacs were among the first works to be printed on the island, which date from 1769. Masson-Abraham first went to Mauritius in 1767, serving as 'Garde Général des Magasins de l'Artillerie' until 1794 and 'Correspondant de l'Acadèmie Royale des Sciences'. His almanac includes an extensive astronomical section, meteorological observations made by Geoffroy-Lislet, information on the Isle de France and Bourbon, contributions of scientific and literary interest, and records of the arrival and departure of ships. Masson-Abraham's main objective in publishing his first almanacs had been to supply sailors who navigated the Indian Ocean with useful astronomical data. The meteorological, scientific and literary sections found in this almanac were new features. Toussaint, B 6; Toussaint, Early Printing in the Mascarene Islands, Appendix XV, 17.
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