Folio (370 x 300 mm.), modern burgundy quarter calf, red cloth boards, ornate blind ruled, spine with gilt ruled spine, gilt title, marbled endpapers. With typographic title page, preface and contents leaf, pp. (4), 96, with 48 maps consisting of 1 folding general, 41 county and Wales in 6 sheets, Gloucestershire with some margin repair, otherwise in good condition.
FIRST EDITION. The imprint of Henry Fisher (d.1837) is first seen on a map of ancient Europe in 1816. By the end of 1818 Fisher had established the Caxton Press. It was destroyed by fire on 7 February 1821. Fisher decided to move to London where he soon began again under the same Press. His son Robert joined the firm in 1825 when it became known as Fisher, Son & Co. James Gilbert first comes to our attention with a guide to London published c.1824 and became an active publisher of cartographic items. From his address at Paternoster Row, he began a county atlas in 1842. The first nine county maps numbered in roman, bear the imprint of ‘Gilbert’s County Atlas’. These early plates were engraved by Joshua Archer, the first two are undated and are published by Gratton & Gilbert. The next five are dated between April and June 1842 are published by M. Alleis. These suggest a publication rate of one or two maps per month. The last two of Oxford and Gloucestershire both have a change of imprint to Fisher indicating a further change in publisher. The remaining maps are engraved by F. P. Becker & Co. and roman numeration is dropped.
The date of the general map is 1845, suggesting the date of completion. They all bear a resemblance to those of Walker’s ‘British Atlas’ of 1837. The atlas bears two double page county maps in Lincolnshire and Devonshire. Quite why these two are depicted so is unclear. The binding order is also curious starting with those of Leicestershire and Rutland combined, they reflect the order in which the part issues were published. Provenance: private English collection; Clive A. Burden Ltd. (2008); Dr. Adrian Almond collection; Dominic Winter auction 6 March 2013 lot 83; private English collection. Beresiner (1983) p. 101; Carroll (1996) 111; Chubb (1927) 504; Gardiner (1973); Nicholson (2007); Smith (1985) pp. 136-7; Tooley’s Dictionary (1999-2004).