Gouvernement Militaire de France
DESCRIPTION: Folio-size copperplate engraving on chain-laid paper by Chatelain that records the state of France's land and naval forces in 1695. Contains detailed textual information on the finances and disposition of France's military not found elsewhere and a wealth of images related to those forces. Includes views of major naval ports, weapons, emblems, and flags associated with both the regular navy and the galley corps.
There was considerable inter-service rivalry between the sailing navy (vaisseaux) and the galley corps (galeres) of which there were then 40 vessels. The lower left quadrant contains a breakdown by type of the total 665 vaisseaux then in service. The lower right quadrant is dedicated solely to the galley corps, which was then near the peak of its power, listing the number of officers of each rank and the count of each galley type- for instance 1 Galere Reale (Royal Galley, the premier vessel). From the information provided by Chatelain we learn that 6 galleys would have been stationed outside the Mediterranean or Levant: 2 each in Bordeaux, St Malo, and Dunkirk.
Less than 30 years after this engraving was published the Corps des Galeres was disbanded (1748), not able to compete against larger, better armed ships of the line. This sheet provides detailed historical background for collectors of Michelot and Bremond charts which were created during the period represented by this plate. Plate 28.
TITLE: Carte Generalle du Gouvernement Militaire de France et Ettat de ses Forces tant par Terre que par Mer
BODY OF WATER:
CONDITION: Very Good
Very slight uniform browning with central vertical centerfold as issues. Wide margins.
Now accepting credit cards