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LEIGH, Samuel

Leigh's New Picture of England and Wales, Comprehending A Description of the Principal Towns ... and a Correct General Map

Samuel Leigh, 18, Strand, London, 1820
Duodecimo (140 x 90 mm.), full contemporary red morocco, gilt title to upper board, spine with double ruled gilt compartments, gilt titles, light wear. With typographic title, pp. viii, 693, 11, with 55 (of 56) numbered county maps, all in early wash colour, general map torn away, 30 engraved views, otherwise in good condition.
FIRST EDITION. In 1820 Samuel Leigh (fl.1812-d.31) published the New Picture of England and Wales. It included one general map only, but stated at the end of the Introduction that ‘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 Pocket Atlas 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’.

Despite being offered separately as accompanying works some demand must have existed for the two to be bound together. Carroll recorded a rebacked example containing the full set of county maps. Despite the binding work the body appeared to be as issued. This example confirms the fact being completely original. The spine states ‘Illustrated with Views & Maps’. The text was not republished and the identify of the editor T.G.B. is unclear. The verso of the title includes a manuscript list of Plates or the views.

In 1825 Leigh published a new text, the New Pocket Road Book of England which can be found alone or bound with the atlas Provenance: indecipherable inscription on the title page; printed label of Mr. E. Lewis, R. N. pasted inside upper board; AbeBooks 2017; private English collection. Beresiner (1983) pp. 142-3; Carroll (1996) 76 n.3; refer Chubb (1927) 373; Smith (1982) pp. 163-4; Tooley’s Dictionary (1999-2004); Worms & Baynton-Williams (2011).
Stock number: 10256

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