WILLIAM WINE [?] 1750 ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT SEAMAN'S 420pp+ HANDWRITTEN VADE MECUM AND REFERENCE MANUAL FILLED WITH CHARTS, ILLUSTRATIONS, TABLES AND HUNDREDS OF PAGES OF DETAILED INFORMATION FOR CIRCUMNAVIGATING THE OCEANS OF THE WORLD
On offer is an absolutely sensational ancient, original 1750s manuscript sailor's vade mecum or reference manual handwritten by and or for a mariner over 260 years ago. The name William Wine appears on the rear inside cover dated March 4th 1788. The handwriting is similar throughout to the signature but it is inconclusive if Mr. Wine is the author, original owner or a later owner. The first page, detached but present, is dated November 1750. There are many, many tables of information, illustrations, charts, drawings etc. that are indexed and with over 420+ pages written in a small, meticulous hand there are within these pages everything that a mid-18th Century senior officer or mate would require being filled with geographical, mathematical, financial, navigational and geometric information and there are also sections detailing carpenter's work, joiners, painters, glaziers, lavers, masons, plus foreign exchange and monetary info and conversions in foreign countries. There are sections for algebra, calculus, trigonometry, all manners of measurement whether liquid or dry and even how to calculate the contents of a globe with many of the mathematical sections deal with measuring heights and distance from afar, measuring and surveying, dealing with casks, all information that a Lieutenant, 1st mate or Ship's Master or even a Captain would need. We conclude that the information and the quality of the manuscript book, vellum which double folds and creates an envelope that would protect the pages from the elements plus a metal clasp [broken] give further credence that this book was owned by a senior officer and most certainly of English origin as evidenced by the section regarding Oxford and Cambridge terms, plus a chart that helps one establish the dates of the Easter season, leap years, tides ++++. The volume begins with a few pages of indices and in the first section one finds pages of geographical place names and distances from one to another: "the coast of Carolina, Virginia, etc. to Newfoundland" and the "Bohema Islands" and another "The Coast of y.e main Continent in y.e West Indies" and the degrees of longitude and latitude are listed alongside each listed place. The standard, depth and sheer volume of information also leads us to conclude that the seaman was likely an officer of a merchantman as opposed to a casual traveler. This is an absolutely unique manuscript relic of ancient seafaring and the age of sail. The 7 x 4.5 x 1.5 inch book is generally soiled on the covers but the interiors are good save for the loose page and the odd stains to the inner pages. The cover is stiff, somewhat fragile and has some cracks/tears but overall the book is G+.