Octavo (200 x 150 mm.), full recent calf, blind ruled, spine with ornate gilt raised bands, gilt ruled compartments and central floral gilt decoration, red calf title label, later endpapers. With typographic title page, typographic preliminary material, pp. 12, 273. Internally very clean, in good condition.
THE RARE AND DESIRABLE FINAL EDITION. Emanuel Bowen (1693?-1767) was one of the most prominent figures in English cartography during the middle of the eighteenth century. Since the highly influential ‘Britannia’ by John Ogilby had been first published in 1675, no smaller version had been issued. Then in the period 1718-20 a flush of four projects were conceived, three of which were completed. This was unquestionably the most successful. It is the only one of the three to include a set of county maps along with the road strips. The author of the text was John Owen an antiquarian who had been admitted to the Middle Temple in 1718. Although known as the Owen and Bowen atlas it was in fact published jointly by Bowen and John Bowles (1701-79). It had a long life, running to numerous editions. This is an example of the final edition, the only one bearing this newly worded title. The old, engraved title page was replaced in the previous 1764 edition with a similarly worded typographic one. In 1762/ 63 Carington Bowles (1724-93) took over the business of his uncle Thomas Bowles (1688-1767). Apart from issuing a new title page, virtually every single road strip was updated in some way or another according to Hodson. Following the title are five newly type set preliminary leaves paginated 3 to 12. Provenance: Dominic Winter Auction 19 September 2012 lot 80; private English collection. Bennett (2007) pp. 40-1; Harley (1970) Introduction to ‘Britannia Depicta’; Hodson (1984-97) 165; Shirley (2004) BL T.Bow 1o.