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CARY, John

Cary's New and Correct English Atlas: Being A New Set of County Maps from Actual Surveys

John Cary, Engraver & Map-seller. No. 86, St. James's Street, London, 1843
Quarto (320 x 255 mm.), contemporary half calf, marbled paper boards, gilt ruled, spine with ornate blind raised bands, gilt ruled compartments, calf gilt title. With engraved title, Contents with Note on verso, ‘Directions for the Junctions of the Roads of England and Wales, Through all the Counties’, ‘Index to the Preceding Routes’ pp. (2), 12, a general map of South Britain bound opposite the title, 43 county maps on 44 plates (West Riding being on two plates) and both North and South Wales, 47 maps in total, all in early outline colour with main routes coloured brown and blue with wash to wooded areas and borders, each with a leaf of descriptive text, ‘The Market and Borough Towns in England and Wales’ pp. 4, in good condition.
ONLY THE THIRD KNOWN EXAMPLE OF THE FINAL EDITION. John Cary (c.1754-1835) and descendants were possibly the most prolific publishers of cartography around the turn of the eighteenth century. The New and Correct English Atlas by Cary was first published in 1789, the title page being dated 1787. It proved very popular and was constantly amended with new information. By the early 1800s the copper plates had been used so much that an entirely new series was produced. As far as I am aware only one other case is known where a complete set of engraved maps had to be replaced due to wear. That was also by Cary, with the Traveller’s Companion. It is a measure of the success of the atlas. The first edition of this new work was published in 1809. An innovative feature he introduced in this series was to place a letter at the exit point of a road from the county. This letter would correspond to that found on the neighbouring county. This was an early form of numbering the roads and a note to that effect is placed on the verso of the Contents page.

There were several later editions. The premises on the Strand burned down in a fire on 17 January 1820 as the business was planning to move to new premises at 86 St. James’s Street. Shortly after George Cary became active in the business, although it is not known for sure, this is believed to be his son (1787-1859) and not his brother (c.1753-1830). George was joined by his brother John Cary 2 (1791-1852). Their father John Cary, bought a house on the Kings Road in Chelsea about the same time and died in 1835. Editions occurred at regular intervals in 1821, 1823, 1825, 1826, 1827, 1829 and 1831. Then a hiatus until two final recorded editions of 1840 and 1843. The only known example of the 1840 edition recorded by Hodson (1977) at Bournemouth Public Library has been lost, however a copy was recorded as sold at Sotheby’s London 8 March 1982 lot 7 for £180, its current location is unknown. Similarly, the example of this last edition recorded as being in the Colchester Public Library is also lost. To date I have located three known examples of this final edition. The first appeared at the Bloomsbury Book Fair, Royal National Hotel in July 2011 and now resides in a private collection. A second with pasted on label of Cruchley over the imprint on the title was identified on close examination at the Newberry Library, Chicago. The railway lines are notably present. Provenance: Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers, Kilkenny, Ireland, 2 May 2018 lot 102; private English collection. Carroll (1996) 65; not in Chubb; not in Fordham (1925) p. 24; refer Hodson (1984-97) 286; Smith (1988); Worms & Baynton-Williams (2011).
Stock number: 10198

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