The Barre Publishing edition of The Atlantic Neptune

Joseph Frederick Wallet Des Barres, Esq., The Atlantic Neptune, Published for the Use of the Royal Navy of Great BritainÂ…. Barre (Mass.), 1966 .
2 portfolios of 4 (all published). Each a blue buckram portfolio, ca. 35"h x 24"w with ties. Vol. 1 containing 24 loose printed sheets incl. title pages, charts, views and sailing directions; vol. 2 with 20 loose sheets incl. title page, charts and views.

The two New England volumes of the Barre Publishing Company’s wonderful full-scale reproduction of The Atlantic Neptune. Produced at great (actually unsustainable) expense, this work is printed on luxurious rag paper from photogravures of Augustus Loring’s copy of the Neptune, with each image colored by hand. The project was so expensive that it was abandoned midway in the late 1960s.

The first portfolio contains 24 printed sheets in all (plus one blank), comprising 2 title pages, 10 charts, 9 views, and 1 sheet of sailing directions. The second holds 20 sheets with 1 title page, 7 charts and 15 views. Many of the charts consist of two sheets (as in the originals), while the views are often printed more than one to a sheet.

Taken together, the charts provide complete coverage for the New England coastline, including among others large-scale charts of Narragansett Bay, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, Boston Harbor, the Cape Ann area, and Portland. Also present are a number of Des Barres‘ more spectacular town views, including two stunning images of Boston (one from the Harbor, the other from Dorchester).


Small, scattered specks of white paint on front board of vol. 1, some fraying to ties, otherwise excellent.