Oblong quarto (235 x 285 mm.), full contemporary calf, gilt panelled boards, rebacked with raised spine, gilt ruled compartments, red calf gilt title label. Typographic title page with contents on verso, with 50 engraved maps, two folding, very small hole in that of Berkshire, 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. Further editions in 1768 come in the two versions, with fifty maps or fifty-four as described on their titles. A fifty map edition only was issued in 1773. This next edition was published by the firm of Sayer and Bennett. In 1774 Sayer was joined in partnership by his apprentice John Bennett (fl.1774-83), who had been made free in that year. Provenance: Sotheby’s 12 May 2005 lot 149; private English collection. Chubb (1927) 230; ESTC T217873; Hodson (1984-97) 247; Worms & Baynton-Williams (2011).