Quarto (235 x 295 mm.), full modern light calf, gilt ruled boards, ribbed spine with gilt ruled compartments and gilt date ‘1768’, with gilt calf title label affixed, binding by Angela James at the Eddington Bindery. Despite the index of maps on the verso of the title numbering to 52, there are in fact only 50 maps as called for in the title. Numbers 3 & 4 are omitted as called for in the index, although the first two general maps are in fact numbered 1 & 3. Nearly all with modern colour added, extensive contemporary manuscript notes on the otherwise blank versos of the maps. First blank endpaper and title page torn across and repaired, otherwise in good condition.
Lord Wardington’s copy of ‘Ellis’s English Atlas’. Joseph Ellis (fl.1758-d.1802) was an engraver whose most important cartographic production was the atlas named after him of the English Counties. It was first published in 1765 as the ‘New English Atlas’ of which only one incomplete example survives. It was issued jointly by Carington Bowles and Robert Sayer and re-named ‘Ellis’s English Atlas’ in 1766. The 1768 edition comes in two versions, with fifty four maps or fifty maps as described on their titles. This is an example of the latter. As shown on the contents leaf two maps are omitted, these are the general map of the Rivers, that of London’s environs and the two of the Channel Islands. The imprint of the title bears two errors in the spelling of ‘Robrt Sayer’ and ‘Thomas Jeffery’s’. Indeed Hodson suggests that the grammar appears to call out for the insertion of ‘sold at’ or ‘sold by’. He extrapolates from this that Sayer was the sole proprietor of the atlas and that Jefferys and Dury were actually merely agents for sales. Jefferys had in fact been declared bankrupt in 1766 and was acting merely with the support of his friends one of which we know to have been Sayer. There is in fact an un-named seller on the title identified by ‘the Map and Print Shop No. 92, under the Royal-Exchange, Cornhill’. This has been identified as John Hemsted who was known to have worked in partnership with Sayer and Jefferys.
This example bears extensive contemporary manuscript notes on the opposite blank verso. These are broken down into four quarters listing ‘Antiquities’, ‘Houses, Parks Plantations’, ‘Scenes & Situations’ and ‘Writers’. A fine example of an uncommon atlas. Provenance: manuscript ownership inscription of ‘E. Iremonger Bequest of William Lascelles Esq 1808’ on inside front free endpaper; un-named owner sale in Sotheby’s London 2 March 1983 lot 652; collection of Lord Wardington; Sotheby’s 18 October 2005 lot 156 (Wardington sale); private English collection. Chubb (1927) 228; ESTC T217872; Hodson (1984-97) 245; Worms & Baynton-Williams (2011).