Octavo (200 x 145 mm.), recent half calf, marbled paper boards, ribbed spine with blind ruled compartments and red calf gilt title label. A very nice clean example throughout. pp. (6), 273. With 273 engraved plates of road strips and county maps printed back to back.
Emanuel Bowen 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. In 1720 Owen and Bowen’s ‘Britannia Depicta or Ogilby Improv’d’ was published. This was unquestionably the most successful. It is the only one of the three to include a set of county maps 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. It had a long life running to numerous editions. Despite stating on the title that this is a fourth edition John Bowles’ catalogue of the same year identifies it as the fifth. Provenance: private English collection. Bennett (1996) pp. 40-1; Carroll (1996) 23; Chubb (1927) 152; ESTC N15582; Harley (1970); Hodson (1984-97) 157; Shirley (2004) T.Bow 1h; Worms & Baynton-Williams (2011).