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The Mapping of North America

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OWEN, John & BOWEN, Emanuel

Britannia Depicta or Ogilby Improv'd

London, 1720
Octavo (205 x 140 mm.), full contemporary calf, gilt and blind panelled boards, rebacked and re-cornered with raised bands, gilt ruled compartments with red calf title label attached. pp. (6), 273. With 273 engraved plates of road strips and county maps, the last leaf re-attached. With minor spotting and light toning as is often the case, good margins throughout, title page cut close to the right side, otherwise in decent condition.
Emanuel Bowen was one of the most prominent figures in English cartography during the middle of the eighteenth century. In 1720 he co-published with John Owen the ‘Britannia Depicta or Ogilby Improv’d’. It was an instant success running to numerous editions over the next 50 years. Hodson in his detailed study of the atlas concluded that there were six different editions bearing the title page dated 1720. This is the second in which he makes numerous minor alterations to the plates, usually textual in nature. Hodson details many of them and this example has a number, but not all. Provenance: manuscript ownership inscription ‘The Gift of Captain Lawson to George Ainsby’ inside front cover; bookplate of Roy Johnstone collection; his sale Sotheby’s 20 September 2001 lot 42; private English collection. Bennett (1996) pp. 40-1; Harley, J B (1970) Introduction to “Britannia Depicta”; Hodson 150; Shirley BL T.Bow although not this issue.
Stock number: 8667

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