Clive A. Burden LTD. Rare Maps, Antique Atlases, Books and Decorative Prints

The Mapping of North America

Mr. Philip D. Burden‚Äč
P.O. Box 863,
Chalfont St. Giles, Bucks HP6 9HD,
Tel: +44 (0) 1494 76 33 13

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The firm of Laurie and Whittle relied heavily on the plates of Robert Sayer acquired following his death in 1794. Often thought of as mere publishers, Robert Laurie (1755-1836) was a noted craftsman. He was a talented mezzotint engraver who invented a method of mezzotint printing in colour, an achievement that won him an award from the Royal Society of Arts in 1776. In the early 1790s he entered the publishing business with James Whittle (1757-1818) as his partner. The acquisition of Sayer’s stock catapulted them into the major league.

In 1806 they published a road book entitled ‘Laurie and Whittle’s New Traveller’s Companion’ which included 24 road maps. They were compiled by Nathaniel Coltman who, working for the Post Office was perfectly placed to produce them. Engraved by Joseph Bye, Edward Jones, Benjamin Smith and W. West, they covered territory as far as the Isle of Wight and Scotland. The format was a change from the past which up to now had largely followed the strip map format devised by John Ogilby in 1675. Coltman produces here, clear maps which cover larger areas for easier reference. The maps are strictly functional concentrating just on roads and distances, the earlier use of nearby features such as churches and hills are omitted. It was a success with a number of editions following and alterations were constantly made to the plates to bring them up to date.

In 1810 two editions were published, a fourth and a fifth. For the first of these a 25th plate was engraved which extended the coverage of the west coast northwards into Scotland as far as Glasgow. For this edition the previous engraved title is replaced with a typographic one. Provenance: manuscript inscription of E. A. L. Fenner on front original free endpaper; label pasted inside front cover of ‘Edwin Fenner, Chemist and Dentist, New Shoreham’, he is listed in the 1881 census with that profession at 134 Clarence Place as born in 1834, Sydenham, Kent; private English collection. Beresiner (1983) pp. 136-9; Carroll (1996) Appendix no. 16; Chubb (1927) 343; Fordham (1924) p. 5o (listed as Coltman).
LAURIE, Robert & WHITTLE, James

Laurie and Whittle's New Traveller's Companion; Exhibiting a Complete and Correct Survey of all the Direct and Principal Cross Roads in England, Wales, and Scotland ...

Robert Laurie and James Whittle, Map, Chart, and Print, Sellers, No. 53, Fleet-Street, London, 1810
Quarto (265 x 170 mm.), modern green cloth, gilt ruling top and bottom to the spine with gilt title, later endpapers. With typographic title page, Advertisement with Explanation on verso, Indexes, pp. 10, folding general map of England and Wales and 25 double page engraved maps all in early outline colour, complete with two blank endpapers, light browning and offsetting as often found, otherwise in good condition.
Stock number: 10223


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