Oblong quarto (235 x 285 mm.), full contemporary calf, gilt panelled boards, rebacked with raised spine, gilt ruled compartments, some brown offsetting from binder’s glue on first and last few leaves. Typographic title page with contents on verso (creased), with 50 engraved maps, two folding, front free endpaper worn, otherwise in good condition.
Joseph Ellis (fl.1758-d.1802) was an engraver whose most important cartographic production was the atlas named after him of the English Counties. The maps were engraved in the style of Thomas Kitchin as seen in his ‘England Illustrated’ of 1764. Five of the maps are engraved by William Palmer, Cornwall by Louis Stanislas D’Arcy De la Rochette, Worcester by William Fowler and fourteen are unidentified. It was first published in 1765 as the ‘New English Atlas’ of which only one incomplete example survives in the British Library. The atlas was published by Carington Bowles (1724-93) and Robert Sayer (1725?-94), two of the most established mapsellers at the time. It was re-named ‘Ellis’s English Atlas’ in 1766. There were no less than five versions in that year, three significantly different. A 50 map and 54 map issue, both with variant title pages and a French edition with 54 maps. This 50 map issue is the variant with Robert Sayer named first in the imprint. The 54 map issues are particularly rare. Its ultimate success was undoubtedly due to its relatively small size enabling it to be carried as a travelling atlas. Indeed, the title states ‘Price 10s. 6d. in Red Leather for the Pocket’. Provenance: manuscript inscription on front free endpaper ‘H & A Jones’; private English collection. Chubb (1927) 227; ESTC T217871; Hodson (1984-97) 240; Worms & Baynton-Williams (2011).