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KITCHIN, Thomas

Kitchin's Pocket Atlass of the Counties of South Britain or England and Wales, drawn to scale ... being the first set of counties ever published on this plan

Thomas Kitchin and J. Gapper, London, 1769
Quarto (230 x 300 mm.), early twentieth century green half cloth, paper boards, with later paper title label affixed to upper board, later endpapers. With engraved title page and 57 maps on 48 leaves, 9 of which are folding, all in approximate alphabetical order, with condition issues to 7 plates, the general map, Derby, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Nottinghamshire and Staffordshire, some of which are inserted from another copy, otherwise in good condition.
The mid-eighteenth century witnessed an increased market for travelling pocket atlases. Those of Moll, Ellis and Thomas Kitchin’s ‘Atlas Anglicanus’ were directed at that market. The latter atlas was still somewhat large and in 1769 Kitchin (1719-84) published a new and quite different atlas entitled ‘Kitchin’s Pocket Atlass [sic]’. It was deliberately priced at 7s. 6d. to undercut the competition of Ellis. It was smaller in format but did however include a new feature. All of the maps were drawn on the same scale, as the title claims ‘Drawn to One Scale. By which the true proportion they severally bear to each other may be easily ascertained’. It was an idea ahead of its time though as sales proved poor and the number of surviving examples is an indication of this. Normally the engraving of county maps would use an earlier series as a source. This however was not practical as all of the scales would have been different. How to achieve this was solved by using Kitchin’s own four-sheet map of England and Wales published in 1752. Provenance: Christies, South Kensington, 12 September 1980 lot 99 sold for £275. Acquired from an unknown source shortly after for £350 by a private English collection. Chubb (1927) no. 235; Hodson (1984-97) no. 258; Shirley (2004) T.Kit 5a.
Stock number: 9402

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