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

The Mapping of North America

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

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‘Tallis’s ‘Street Views’ are among the rarest of all publications of London interest. The most nearly complete and perfect set I have seen is that of Charles W. F. Goss and which was acquired by the Guildhall Library in 1941 … The British Library has all 88 elevations bound in a book with the text and advertisements but lacks the wrappers’ (Jackson). He goes on to list further institutional examples none of which are complete. ‘The main reason for the scarcity of the ‘Street Views’ is the fact that they were published in parts. This was, of course, already common practice at the time. But with Tallis there was no question of continuity and so they were not necessarily collected together to form a whole as were the works of contemporary novelists’ (Jackson).

Publication was erratic ‘We have no way of knowing whether or not they came out at regular intervals; indeed after the first few numbers their publication must have been somewhat erratic, for we know that some parts were altered and appeared later out of sequence. They were sold, we learn from the wrappers, ‘By all Booksellers and Toyshops’ … This capricious form of distribution accounts for the fact that, although odd parts sometimes turn up, complete unbroken runs are excessively rare’ (Jackson).

Tallis’s ‘London Street Views’ was more of an ephemeral piece being as it was more of an advertising tool and trade directory. This is the main reason why it is of such extreme rarity. Each part consisted generally of a central double page view with elevations of both sides of a notable street and included upwards of 100 buildings, each identified. To the sides is a map identifying the immediate area of the street, and a view of a notable building. Each is accompanied by four pages of descriptive text with adverts placed by the businesses identified, that of Oxford Street bears 6 pages. The original paper wrapper included the title and a street directory. The wrappers are particularly rare and survive in only a handful of the collections known. Parts 1-36 appeared in 1838, 37-79 in 1839 with the final parts 80-88 in 1840. John Tallis (1818-76) was the son of the bookseller John Tallis who originally from Birmingham moved to London around 1820. The son joined the business and it appears that by 1838 was in control of the firm. The undoubted wealth this series generated does not appear to have fallen to his father who died leaving very little to his wife. This is one of the earliest works attributable to him. An exceedingly rare item. We handled a complete example in 2012, the only other complete example known to have appeared on the market was back in 1968 with the firm of Weinreb & Breman Ltd. which was then priced at £875! Provenance: Jonathan Potter 1990; private English collection. Adams, B. (1983) ‘London illustrated 1604-1851’ p. xiv; Barber (2012) London pp. 212-13; Jackson, Peter first published 1969 reproduction London Topographical Society ‘John Tallis’s London Street Views 1838-1840’ (2002); Manasek (1998) p. 227.


Tallis' Guide through London

London, 1838-39
AN IMPORTANT RECORD OF THE COMMERCIAL LIFE IN VICTORIAN LONDON. Oblong quarto (145 x 220 mm.), 66 uncut parts (nos. 3-68), all with the accompanying text, bound in contemporary marbled paper boards, rebacked to style, blind ruled, spine with gilt ruled bands and decorative features, gilt title, otherwise in excellent condition.
Stock number: 10952
£ 3,750
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