Quarto (265 x 185 mm.), recent half calf, marbled paper boards, blind ruled, with raised gilded bands, blind ruled compartments, each with gilt central ornament, green calf gilt title and date labels affixed. With engraved double page title, 4 double page tables and 42 double page maps numbered to 41 (Scotland and Ireland unnumbered, Cumberland and Westmoreland combined ‘8 & 9’). The first leaf of roads is in Hodson’s state b with Taylor’s signature, England in his state c, Scotland state b, Ireland state a, all as called for. With engraved double page title to the Welsh section and 10 double page maps. The whole work in fabulous early wash colour. In good condition.
An excellent example of the Blome-Taylor atlas bound with the FIRST ATLAS OF WALES and in FULL EARLY WASH COLOUR. The plates used in this atlas were first published by Richard Blome as ‘Speed’s Maps Epitomiz’d’ in 1681. A further edition followed in 1685 and a ‘Cosmography and Geography’ in 1693. The whereabouts of the Blome plates after 1693 is unknown. Blome had died in 1705 but it is unlikely that Thomas Taylor (c.1670-1730) acquired them at this date as no issue is known before 1715. The earliest we hear of Taylor in business is 1711. The ‘England Exactly Described’ was first advertised in the ‘Daily Courant’ 24 September 1715. The earliest versions of the atlas did not contain a map of Scotland but reacting to news of the Jacobite Rebellion earlier in the month he quickly rectified this advertising the fact by the first week in November. This edition is dated from an advert placed in the ‘Daily Courant’ 1 March 1717. It bears a re-worded title and four new leaves describing the roads. A general map of Ireland dated 1716 has been added to the work giving a total of 42 maps. This atlas is closest to ‘O’ in Hodson’s listing.
This example is bound with Taylor’s atlas of Wales, the first atlas of Wales, which was available either as a separate work or as here bound with that of England. The work was announced in the ‘Daily Courant’ 21 February 1717/18 as ‘A New Sett of Maps of the Counties of Wales’. It was available either ‘bound up by themselves, or together, with the Counties of England’. The maps were according to Hodson the work of Henry Hulsbergh who is known to have worked with Taylor. The work is so rare that it is not listed on the ‘English Short Title Catalogue’ or in Booth’s book on Wales. Provenance: private English collection. Chubb (1927) 136 & 136d; ESTC T166162; Hodson (1984-97) 140 & 148; Roberts (1994) pp. 34-9; Shirley (2004) T.Blom 3f & T.Tay 1a; Worms & Baynton-Williams (2011).