1840s-1890s LARGE ARCHIVE OF 47 HANDWRITTEN MANUSCRIPT LETTERS TO THE FAMED ASTRONOMER, ADMIRAL, INVENTOR AND AUTHOR ERNEST MOUCHEZ FROM HIS SISTER, CABINET MINISTERS, FRIENDS AND COLLEAGUES


On offer is an outstanding archive of forty-seven [47] letters from the personal files of famed Admiral of the French Navy and Great Astronomer Amédée Ernest Barthélemy Mouchez. The archive dates 1846 through 1891 and is made up of a few letters from his sister, a letter to his mother and then the balance from colleagues, notables and friends; a number are on stationery of the Republic of France; Sociedad Cientifica "Antonio Alzate" Mexico; Ecole Normale Superieure Laboratoire de Chime; Senat and some French Ministerial Office letterheads. This fascinating archive touches upon many of Mouchez' career highlights as the letters deal with a number of different areas - Mouchez' work in China, matters of the Observatory, Mexico, personal communications of friends and colleagues etc. Mouchez had a spectacular career embarking on a career in the French Navy as an ensign in 1843. This was a period of relative international maritime peace and much of the navy's activities were dedicated to exploration and discovery. Mouchez was initially occupied with hydrographic studies along the coasts of Korea, China and South America, penetrating 320 km up the Paraguay River and exploring the Abrolhos Islands. He improved the practice of surveying at sea, adapting terrestrial instruments for naval use, and was especially concerned with the problems of determining longitude. He developed the use of the theodolite and meridian telescope to improve the error in establishing longitude. Attaining the rank of Captain in 1868, he embarked on a series of expeditions to chart the coast of Algeria. At the conclusion of his project in 1873, he was elected to the Bureau des Longitudes and, in the following year, was sponsored by the Académie des Sciences to observe the transit of Venus from St. Paul Island in the Indian Ocean. On December 9, he made a sequence of superb photographic plates of the event. In 1875, the Académie elected him a member of the astronomy section and in 1878 he was promoted to rear admiral and awarded the role of director of the Paris Observatory. The observatory had fallen into disrepair and disrepute since the chaos of the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 and the Paris Commune of 1871. Mouchez set about a programme of reconstruction but failed to persuade the government to fund a new observatory outside the centre of Paris. In 1887, he collaborated with Sir David Gill to host an international astronomical conference in Paris. The principal outcome of the conference was a multi-national project to compile and index a photographic atlas of the heavens, the Carte du Ciel. The project consumed massive effort over several decades before it was rendered obsolete by modern astronomical methods. He is also credited with founding Mountsouris Observatory and he is the author of six books on astronomy, navigation, nautical instruction etc. A grand boulevard in Le Havre and a village in Algeria are named for Mouchez. This is a great archive of intersecting and diverse worlds being astronomy, France and her Navy, Algeria, militaria, geography, cartography and South America. VG.

Title: 1840s-1890s LARGE ARCHIVE OF 47 HANDWRITTEN MANUSCRIPT LETTERS TO THE FAMED ASTRONOMER, ADMIRAL, INVENTOR AND AUTHOR ERNEST MOUCHEZ FROM HIS SISTER, CABINET MINISTERS, FRIENDS AND COLLEAGUES

Author Name: SOPHIE MOUCHEZ et al TO Amédée Ernest Barthélemy Mouchez, Admiral of the French Navy and Great Astronomer

Categories: 19th Century Manuscript, Books and Manuscripts General Overview,

Publisher: France, 1846

Binding: Manuscript

Book Condition: Very Good

Inscription: Autograph

Size: 12mo - over 6¾" - 7¾" tall

Seller ID: NNJT77/81

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