Octavo (165 x 115 mm.), full contemporary diced calf, rebacked with diced spine, with pocket at the end, marbled endpapers. With engraved title, contents leaf, advertisement, general map of England and Wales, 40 county maps, that of Yorkshire folding and loose in the pocket, North and South Wales, in all 43 maps all in early outline colour, index of ‘Market and Borough Towns’ in pp. 5, ‘Routes; Exhibiting the Direct Road’ in pp. 11, followed by four pages of adverts for Cary’s products. In very good condition.
This is the smallest of the three English county atlases produced by John Cary. It was described by Cary as being an abridgement of the ‘New and Correct Atlas’ of 1787. It was designed to be of use to travellers on the widening network of turnpike roads. It was first published in 1790. In 1806, a newly engraved set of plates was introduced, there final edition was in 1821. On 17 January 1820, the premises on the Strand burned down. It appears this was enough for Cary to decide upon retirement. They moved to 86 St. James’s Street and about 1821 his sons George (1787-1859) and John (1791-1852) took control of the business. John senior retiring to the King’s Road in Chelsea.
Possibly due to the change of hands a third series of plates was engraved for ‘Cary’s Traveller’s Companion’ which were first published in 1822, this being an example of their first edition. The plates are now all undated but bear the imprint of G & J Cary. They are printed on one side only and bound facing each other in pairs. Minor alterations occur to the plates. A very good example of this atlas. Provenance: private English collection. Chubb (1927) no. 283; Fordham (1925) pp. 35-9; Smith (1988) pp. 40-47; Worms & Baynton-Williams (2011).