Quarto (305 x 255 mm.), full contemporary limp calf, later burgundy gilt calf title affixed to upper cover, rebacked with gilt titles, later endpapers. With engraved title page, typographic contents leaf with note on verso, map of South Britain and 43 county maps on 44 plates (West Riding being on two plates) and both North and South Wales, 47 maps in total, all maps in early outline colour with main routes coloured brown and blue with wash to wooded areas and borders, pp. 12 of indexes, in good condition.
The ‘New and Correct English Atlas’ by John Cary (c.1754-1835) first published in 1787, was constantly amended with new information. Cary is noted for the clarity of detail in his maps and was the first to use the Greenwich meridian. A Note on the verso of the contents list relates to an innovative feature he introduced relating to the roads which ‘are connected on the Maps from one county to another by letters of reference added to those Roads at the extremity of each Map … so as to answer the same purpose of connecting, by affording a similar reference’. This was an early form of numbering the roads.
By 1809 the plates to the county maps were quite worn and an entirely new set were engraved. 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. It was to continue in publication to at least 1875 when at this time the plates were in the hands of George Cruchley. This is an example of the 1818 edition by Cary. It was the last at the premises before the fire on 17 January 1820 which destroyed the building. Provenance: Sotheby’s 17 November 1986 lot 759; private English collection. Carroll (1996) 65.2; Chubb (1927) 266; Fordham (1925) p. 24; refer Hodson (1984-97) 286; Smith (1988) pp. 40-47.