This early original copper-plate engraving on beautifully handmade paper is stunning. It depicts a technical plan of the Locks of Dunkirks Port. It comes from the French book L'architecture hydraulique by Bernard Forest de Belidor.
Bernard Forest de Belidor was a military and civil engineer and author of a classic work on hydraulics. After serving in the French army at an early age, he developed an interest in science and worked on the measurement of an arc of the Earth. The study of ballistics also attracted him, and he became professor of artillery at the French military school at La Fère and eventually rose to become inspector of artillery. He wrote several notable books on engineering, artillery, ballistics, and fortifications, but his fame rests primarily on Architecture hydraulique, in four volumes (1737–53), covering engineering mechanics, mills and waterwheels, pumps, harbours, and sea works. This pioneering work, a classic of engineering, which constitutes practically the first scientific text-books on engineering and the first to apply integral calculus to technical and practical problems. It became the international standard-work for nearly 100 years and proved invaluable to architects, builders and engineers.
Dunkirk is a commune in northern France. It lies 10 kilometres from the Belgian border. The port of Dunkirk was expanded in the 1670s by the construction of a basin that could hold up to thirty warships with a double lock system to maintain water levels at low tide. The basin was linked to the sea by a channel dug through coastal sandbanks secured by two jetties.
Provenance: L'architecture hydraulique
Author: Bernard Forest de Belidor
Publisher: 1737 Paris
Paper Size: 12 1/2" x 9 1/2"
Condition : In good antique condition with few wormholes and repairs. Attached to cardboard. (PLEASE SEE PICTURES)
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