Oblong folio (405 x 535 mm.), contemporary half calf, marbled paper boards, worn, rebacked ribbed spine, with red calf gilt title affixed, later endpapers. Typographic title page with tissue repairs, pp. (2), viii, with 38 side bound engraved maps, each in early outline colour, facing each other in pairs with interleaved descriptive text facing each map, waterstained throughout, otherwise in good condition.
The FIRST EDITION of John Harrison’s ‘Maps of the English Counties’, this example is side bound. For many years, this series of English County maps was first thought to have been published in the ‘Maps of the English Counties’ in 1791. Then in 1974 Hodson identified an advertisement in ‘The Morning Herald’ for 2 May 1787 which stated ‘This day are published, by J. Harrison … Specimens of Maps of the Counties of England and Wales’. Hodson believed that they may have been published in Harrison’s edition of ‘The History of England’ by Paul Rapin de Thoyras although he was unable to locate an example. Three examples have since been identified but all are without the full compliment of maps, none are dated beyond July 1790. The last few maps were issued after the event, those of Lincolnshire and Yorkshire were dated 1 February 1791 and Sussex 1 March 1791. That of North and South Wales is dated 26 February 1791. This made up the full complement of 38 maps.
There were curiously no general maps of England and Wales, Scotland or Ireland despite all being in Harrison’s stock. Early copies note the price on the title pages as 3l. 9s. 6d. Clearly it struggled to sell, this example, that in the British Library and Cambridge University Library examples all have an altered price of 3l. 3s. The price came down further for the second edition the following year at 2l. 2s. Apart from the county descriptions there are eight folio pages of tables to be found at the beginning. Chubb (1927) 291; Carroll (1996) 52, n. 5; ESTC N33259; Hodson (1974) no. 50; Shirley (2004) refer T.Harr 1a & 2a; Tooley’s Dictionary (1999-2004); Worms & Baynton-Williams (2011).