London: Printed for David Steel, 1794. First edition. Hardcover. Quarto. xv, (2) 242, (2) 243-425, (1) 147pp., 92 plates (2 double-paged, 5 folded, plus six tables, one of them folded). Original mottled calf with gilt lettering on labels of spine, gilt tooling, ruling and raised bands. Red edges. Marbled endpapers. Frontispiece engraving. Green ribbon markers. Extraordinary publication with demonstrative engravings on rigging and seamanship, detailing shipbuilding, masts, ropes, sails, etc. (Scheepvaart Museum, annotation 753). "One of the outstanding works on the subject." (Bibliotheca Nautica). The two-part compass plate with movable hands.
"The germe of this work was a small and incomplete treatise on sail making, which some years ago came into the possession of the publisher. In the course of rendering that fit for general use, the reciprocal dependence of the naval arts was discerned; and it was instantly resolved to collect the all together, although public materials were few, and private communications were with difficulty to be obtained. The subject of ship-building seemed capable of being, with propriety, treated as a distinct pursuit; and the considerations, added to the reflection that much was already known upon that subject, produced the present labours upon the arts relative to or connected with the RIGGING OF A SHIP." (Preface). Light wear along edges of bindings, small closed tear at head of spine, volume one, in general very small chips and light scuffing. Ribbon marker in volume two loose but present. Overall in very good condition. vg. Item #44921