Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    The Invention of the "Reflecting Circle" for the Correction of Navigation at Sea

    Chevalier de Borda. Description et usage du cercle de reflexion, avec differentes methodes pour calculer les observations nautiques. Paris, Didot fils Âiné, 1787. First edition. Small quarto. Approximately 8.5 x 6.25 inches. [88], 33, [1, blank] pages. With three engraved plates inserted throughout. Bound in contemporary half brown calf over marbled boards. Rebacked, preserving most of the original spine, some wear to spine and boards, minor occasional soiling in text, a few small rust-holes with minor loss of text. Still, a near fine copy. This copy once owned by Louis Claude de Saulces de Freycinet (1779-1841) who was a French navigator who circumnavigated the globe in 1811 and who published the first map to show the full outline of the coast of Australia, with his signature on the title-page. Also this copy has related contemporary ink notes on the rear binder's blank (probably not by Freycinet). Housed in quarter brown morocco chemise and morocco-tipped slipcase. The "reflecting circle" (built by Borda with Etienne Lenoir) was capable of correcting navigational computations at sea. This book describes the instrument itself, then describes the use of telescopes and mirrors, and the final thirty-three pages are tables of calculations. Lalande 602. Polak 971.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2013
    10th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 425

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $50,000 (minimum $14), plus 20% of any amount between $50,000 and $1,000,000, plus 12% of any amount over $1,000,000 per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2020 October 21 Manuscripts Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    This was my first time dealing with an auction house, and I am 100% completely impressed with Heritage. There is not an aspect of this process that I have a critique for.
    Darryl S.,
    Stuart, FL
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search