Octavo (155 x 95 mm.), contemporary half green calf, marbled boards, gilt ruled, gilt ribbed spine with ornate gilt decorated compartments, gilt embossed title, light wear. With engraved title, engraved Index, 56 early wash coloured maps, each accompanied by a numbered chapter of descriptive text, otherwise in excellent condition.
A VERY RARE WORK. The maps were originally published as a set of exceedingly rare card maps of the counties by Thomas Crabb. They were then issued by Robert Miller as the ‘New Miniature Atlas’ of 1821. The plates were then acquired by the great publishing house of William Darton [1755-1819], by now in the hands of his son, also William [1781-1854]. They were issued as ‘Darton’s new Miniature Atlas’ undated, although post-dating 1821. This date is referred to in the text of the Yorkshire map when citing the census of that year. It was most likely issued as a reduced compliment to the folio ‘Complete Atlas of the English Counties’ dated 1822. The curious binding order is retained. Beginning with Middlesex it extends through Hertfordshire to the north, then starts again with Surrey before extending through the west ending with those of Wales.
These plates were famously issued later in the much better known atlas by Reuben Ramble (1810-75), whose name is a pseudonym for the Reverend Samuel Clark. He became a partner to William Darton, and in 1843 he would publish the famous ‘Reuben’s Rambles’ in which he surrounds the wide margins of the maps with a series of ornate vignettes. Provenance: Bloomsbury Auctions 19 April 2012 lot 137; private English collection. Carroll (1996) 74.iv; Chubb (1927) 341; Tooley (1999-2004); Worms & Baynton-Williams (2011).