Roux’s rare chart book of the Mediterranean

By ROUX, Joseph, 1779 

Recueil [sic.] des principaux plans des ports et rades de la mer Mediterranée. estraits de ma carte en douze feuilles dediée a monsgr. le Duc de Choiseul ministre de la guerre et de la marine. Par Son tres humble Serviteur Joseph Roux Hidrographe du Roy.

  • Author: ROUX, Joseph
  • Publication place: Genes
  • Publisher: chez Yves Gravier Libraire sous la Loge de Banchi
  • Publication date: 1779.
  • Physical description: Oblong 8vo (175 by 235mm), title, 121 engraved charts, advertisement bound after index, full calf, label to upper board, rubbed.
  • Inventory reference: 1292


Joseph Roux (1725–1793), Hidrographe du Roy’, was one of the leading chartmakers of his day. In 1764 he published this smaller format atlas of 121 harbour charts. The atlas proved so successful that editions were being published well into the nineteenth century; some were by Roux himself, but many pirated. Due to their practical nature few examples survive, and all editions are rare. The plates show town and harbour plans, with soundings, anchorages, rocks, shoals, fortifications, and lighthouses.

The present example also contains an advertisement for a pilot containing 26 charts; the first 12 charts are by Roux and form his Carte de la Mer Mediterranee. These are followed by fourteen charts from Nicolas Bellin’s L’Hydrographie Francoise. The advert is dated 1785 and bares the imprint of Yves Gravier. This particular pilot collates with a composite atlas in the British Library (Shirley M.COM-3a).


  1. Shirley M.COM-3a
    • Shirley, Rodney. (2004). Maps in the Atlases of the British Library: A descriptive catalogue cAD850 to 1800. London: British Library. 2 vols.
  2. NMM, 3: 268
  3. Smith, P.C., The Artful Roux: Marine Painters of Marseille’, Peabody Museum, 1978.

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