Admiral Pâris Collection




An unbound 288-page folio documenting the construction and use of indigenous watercraft in Asia, the Pacific and the Americas in the 19th century by Edmond-Francois Pâris. Text in French with 132 lithograph plates and line drawings. 'Essai sur la Construction Navale des Peuples Extra-Europeen ou Collection des Navires et Pirogues Construits par les Habitants de l'Asie, de la Malaisie, du Grand Ocean et de l'Amerique'. Published by the Ministère de la Marine.

In 1841 the French naval officer François-Edmond Pâris (1806-1893) compiled his notes and drawings of indigenous watercraft, based on observations made during three circumnavigations of the globe on the ASTROLABE (1826-1829), LA FAVORITE (1829-1833) and ARTEMISE (1837-1841). Retiring from the French Navy in 1871 with the rank of Vice Admiral, Pâris became Curator of the Musée National de la Marine where he had several hundred models made from his drawings in the Essai. He combined a passion for maritime technology with the skill of a master draftsman to produce an unparalleled record of indigenous watercraft at a time when western influences were introducing fundamental changes to indigenous cultures.

Some material included in this collection may be subject to copyright

By appointment only, please contact ANMM

Parts of this collection are digitised and available on the ANMM web site


1826-1843; Ethnography; Naval architecture; Sea transport; Watercraft

Drawings; Lithographs

Ministère de la Marine

Water transport

Coverage Spatial

Oceania; Asia; South America; Central America; North America

Coverage Temporal



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2012-05-30 23:40