The Seafarers is a long series from the late 70's-early 80's that describes the history of ships and sailors.
Each volume is bound in navy-blue leather and features a photo or painting on the cover just under the title, which is written in gold. The whole series is 21 volumes long.
I have seven of these books so far, but I've only read The Dreadnoughts and The Vikings. I am overall very pleased with the writing and format. As usual with Time-Life publications, the pictures really serve to augment the reading experience, and these volumes come highly recommended if you're interested in ships and the sea.