Clive A. Burden LTD. Rare Maps, Antique Atlases, Books and Decorative Prints

The Mapping of North America

Mr. Philip D. Burden​
P.O. Box 863,
Chalfont St. Giles, Bucks HP6 9HD,
Tel: +44 (0) 1494 76 33 13

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John Luffman (1751-1821) had a varied career being a publisher, engraver, goldsmith, author and geographer. He also became bankrupt in 1793 but appears to have recovered. His earliest recorded work is the engraving of the road strips for Taylor and Skinner’s ‘Survey and Maps of the Roads of North Britain’ in 1776. In 1781 he was the engraver of Armstrong’s large scale map of Rutland. These curious circular engravings of the counties of England and Wales are his most noted work and accompanied a geographical text. A rare atlas that has always been desired by collectors. It was first published in 1803 by Luffman in two issues. The second published in the same year included all of the maps in their second state, but by 1806 ownership had passed to the firm of Lackington Allen & Co. James Lackington (1746-1815) came from Somerset and was born to a drunken father. He left home at ten and worked initially as a meat pie seller. He was apprenticed to a shoemaker in Taunton and on the side bought and sold books. He was freed in 1767 and moved to Bristol where he continued in both trades. Although at this time he was still unable to read and write he composed several songs and ballads. He moved to London and with a legacy of £10 from his recently deceased grandfather he opened his first bookshop in 1774 at 46 Chiswell Street, Moorfields, London. In 1793 he brought in Robert Allen as a partner (ODNB states Robin Allen) and renamed it Lackington, Allen & Co. In 1794 the company moved to larger premises at the ‘Temple of the Muses’, Finsbury Square. The ‘Repository of Arts’ claimed in 1809 that a million books were on display. We do know from his accounts that he sold over 100,000 books a year. James Lackington retired in 1798 and was replaced by George Lackington (1768-1844), his third cousin. George is reported to have started in the business aged 13. It is believed his father bought him a share of the business.Exactly when Lackington, Allen & Co. acquired the rights to the New Pocket Atlas is not known. Judging by the scarcity of the first edition we might conclude it was not a financial success and when offered the opportunity to sell out, Luffman took it. Interestingly the title page remains unaltered, apart from the imprint, although that on the maps themselves remained the same. The title affixed to the upper board records the price for the atlas ‘Price 7/6 Plain, or 10/6, in Colors’. The firm finally closed when George Lackington retired in 1826. Provenance: with bookplate of ‘Archd. Livingstone AM’ affixed inside upper board; private English collection. Batten & Bennett (2008) 66; British Book Trade Index; Carroll (1996) 59; Chubb (1927) 309; Worms & Baynton-Williams (2011).

A New Pocket Atlas and Geography of England and Wales, Illustrated with Fifty-five Copper plates, Shewing all the Great Post Roads ...

Lackington, Allen & Co. Temple of the Muses Finsbury Square, London, 1806
Octavo (185 x 110 mm.), contemporary half red calf, marbled paper boards, gilt ruled, with original paper title label affixed to the upper board, spine with gilt ruled compartments, paper label with manuscript title affixed, with original silk page marker. With ornate engraved title, Preface dated March 1803, half title ‘England’, 42 circular maps of the English counties, half title ‘Wales’, 12 maps of the Welsh counties, all in FULL EARLY WASH COLOUR, each with typographic text below, a double page map of England and Wales in early outline colour, Index leaf, some light show through on a few maps to the versos, otherwise in good condition.
Stock number: 10746
£ 3,950
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