Duodecimo (135 x 85 mm.), contemporary quarter calf, rebacked preserving original marbled paper boards, spine with raised bands, blind ruled compartments, with red calf gilt title label. With engraved title and 53 numbered maps, engraved throughout, title with small tear repaired, light water stain lower gutter to a few maps, light surface dirt here and there, otherwise in good condition.
John Gibson (fl.1750-1787) was an engraver who worked for several of the cartographers of the day. This atlas was first published and advertised extensively in May of 1759 by John Newbery (1713-67), it was most probably intended for children. Newbery was the first to provide educational books for children. His name is honoured in America with the annual award of a medal since 1922 for the most distinguished contribution to children’s literature by an American resident. There were two editions of this pretty county atlas, both of which are very rare. Newbery died on 22 December 1767 and the business was continued by his son, Francis Newbery, and his stepson, Thomas Carnan. As half-brothers, they continued in business for a while but somewhere around 1779 or 1780, Newbery left to sell ‘quack’ medicines. As the imprint is for the remaining Thomas Carnan alone it might be presumed that this edition followed shortly after. Certainly, before his own death on 29 July 1788. The business was continued by John Newbery’s grandson Francis Power until about 1792. It is likely he continued to sell the little atlas during this period but no evidence of this has been found and certainly there is no later edition of the work noted. Provenance: various pencil inscriptions; private English collection. This edition not in the British Library. Chubb (1927) 214 (only one copy seen); ESTC T301091; Hodson (1984-97) 220; refer Shirley (2004) T.Gib 2a.