Mannevillette, Jean-Baptiste d'Apres de, Le Neptune Oriental, ou Routier Général des Côtes des Indes Orientales et de la Chine
, (Paris) 1745.
Le Neptune Oriental
was a large-scale maritime atlas issued in 1745 by Jean-Baptiste Nicolas Denis d'Après de Mannevillette, a wealthy French sailor and hydrographer. From his first voyage as an adult in 1726, Mannevillette collected, revised, and created new nautical charts. These he published 20 years later in the first edition of Le Neptune Oriental
, an important work issued for the Compagnie des Indes
(French East India Company), for whom Mannevillette was a captain. The first edition of Le Neptune Oriental
containing some 22 charts, was received and earned him accolade on both navigational and scientific circles. Nonetheless, according to Manonmani Filliozat, writing in the Indian Journal of the History of Science
The French Admiralty considering that the Neptune Oriental was too dangerous for ... ordered the remaining copies to be destroyed. (#292, 1994, p. 341)
This accounts somewhat for the extreme scarcity of the first edition and all of the maps contained therein. We also note a supportive comment in a, 1763 catalog of maps and charts issued by the French chart and map dealer Roch-Joseph Julien (1745 - 1779). Mannevillette nonetheless continued to collect and revise nautical chart for the next 30 years, often working with the important English cartographer Alexander Dalrymple (1737 - 1808). In 1775, he issued greatly expanded and updated second edition of Le Neptune Oriental
. This time with an additional 41 charts, making a total of 63 charts. This edition also proved popular and was widely disseminated. As noted by multiple cartobibliographers, there are variations between examples and no two seem to be identical, suggesting that many were compiled to order, often with additional maps that could be purchased but which were not in the standard collation. The second edition was published in Paris by Demonville and in Brest by Malassis. In 1781, one year after Mannevillette's, another work, Supplement au Neptune Oriental
was issued, also by Demonville and Malassis.