Duodecimo (145 x 90 mm.), full contemporary green morocco, with gilt title on upper cover, rebacked preserving original spine, gilt ruled, gilt titles. With engraved postal rates, typographic title, engraved title, pp. iv, 404, 55 numbered county maps and 1 folding general map, in good condition.
In 1820 Samuel Leigh (fl.1812-d.31) published the ‘Picture of England and Wales’. It included one general map only, but stated ‘The proprietor has availed himself of the talents of Mr. Sidney Hall to project a series of correct county maps, the same size as this book, which may be had in a separate volume, with a complete Index of the towns, villages, etc.’. ‘Leigh’s New Picture of England and Wales’ was published in the same year. It was a miniature county atlas which proved successful. Sidney Hall (1788?-1831) engraved the series of maps which were derived from those of John Cary. Hall was a prolific engraver of the period and according to Worms and Baynton-Williams ‘was almost certainly the first engraver to use the new harder steel plates for map work, using plates manufactured by the Jacob Perkins process as early as 1821’.
In 1825 Leigh published an accompanying ‘New Pocket Road Book’ which can be found alone or bound with this atlas as here. The extensive text provides fascinating descriptions of towns and places. Later editions of the atlas are rarely found without the road book. Provenance: manuscript ownership of ‘J. Flilden’, 1826; private English collection. Chubb (1927) 374; Fordham (1924) p. 58; Tooley’s Dictionary (1999-2004); Worms & Baynton-Williams (2011).