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SCALE, Bernard

An Hibernian Atlas; or General Description of the Kingdom of Ireland: Divided into Provinces; with its sub-divisions of Counties, Baronies, &c.

Robt: Laurie & Jas: Whittle, No. 53 Fleet Street, London, 1798
Quarto (230 x 185 mm.), later half calf, green cloth boards with gilt ruling, spine with gilt embossed titles, marbled endpapers. With engraved title page, Dedication to George III, Preface, Index and 37 engraved maps, all in early wash colour, with interleaved descriptive text, engraved throughout, title a little toned, some offsetting as usual, otherwise in good condition.
When John Bennett joined with Robert Sayer in partnership in 1774 it brought a new lease of life to the business. The plates from Thomas Jefferys ‘Small English Atlas’ were reissued with a short descriptive text. They recognised that the available county atlases of Scotland and Ireland were at least a generation old, those of Moll’s being first issued in 1725 and 1728 respectively. It is conceivable that even Francis Lamb’s atlas of Ireland first published in 1689 might have been available at the shop of John Bowles. It was recorded in his Catalogue as late as 1768.

Work began on the Irish atlas as early as 1774, an announcement in the Hibernian Journal for 16-19 September 1774 refers to the work. No further adverts for the atlas were published and the date is drawn from that of 1 February 1776 given throughout the finished work. Sayer and Bennett used the talents of Bernard Scale (1739-1825). He was born in London and became brother-in-law to John Rocque. Scale married well and prospered in Ireland as a land surveyor. As engravers they employed Joseph Ellis and William Palmer. The latter was the master to John Cary as an apprentice. The one frivolity in Scale’s maps were his compasses, often supported by objects. He is also recognised for the cruciform design placed at the junction of three boundaries.

The finished work is engraved throughout and contains a general map, 4 of the Provinces and 32 county maps. Hodson highlights the significance of the atlas ‘the rococo decoration characteristic of the work of Emanuel Bowen and Thomas Kitchin has disappeared from the maps: the new style, with its neo-classical influences, is simple and unadorned, almost austere.’ The cartography appears to be drawn from the two-sheet map of Ireland by his brother-in-law John Rocque published in 1773.

In 1781 Bennett began to show signs of insanity and ‘in 1783 was admitted to Dr. Thomas Monro’s asylum in Clapton. In June 1784 Sayer brought a case to dissolve the partnership and Bennett’s name disappeared from the imprint after 1785’ (Worms & Baynton-Williams). A second edition ensued in 1788 with Sayer’s imprint alone. This third edition of 1798 was issued following Sayer’s death in 1794. The stock was acquired by Robert Laurie and James Whittle. The imprints throughout were altered to reflect the change of ownership. One final edition was to appear in 1809. Provenance: with early manuscript notation on endpaper of ‘? James Keily Main Street Derry’; bookplates of Franklin H. Chase & Janusz K. Bienkowski, pasted inside front cover. Bonar-Law (1997) A14; Chubb 10; Hodson (1997) III 263; Tooley’s Dictionary (1999-2004).
Stock number: 9822

SOLD

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