Octavo (120 x 80 mm.), full contemporary calf, ornate blind panelling to boards, gilt ruled, spine with raised bands, blind ruled compartments with very ornate decoration, red calf gilt title label, marbled endpapers. With decorative pictorial engraved title page, engraved Contents, typographic title page with Index on verso, Address with Errata on the verso, two engraved divisional titles of England and Wales, pp. (4), 162, and 53 maps (1 general and 52 county maps) all in full original wash colour, in good condition.
A VERY RARE CHARMING ATLAS. Little is known about William Henry Reid. A W. H. Reid is listed in ‘Johnstone’s London Commercial Guide’ for 1818 as an ‘Appraiser & auct. 32, Charing-cross’. Further research found a William Henry Reid listed in the Post Office London Commercial Directory for 1843 as ‘architectural, engineering & scientific bookseller & publisher, 15 Charing Cross’. It is a reasonable assumption to conclude this is one and the same person. His name appears on the title page as publisher but many of the maps bear the imprints or James Wallis and C. Hinton. As Reid’s name does not appear on the maps they are often referred to as the Wallis-Reid maps.
James Wallis (fl.1810-25) was born it is believed in Southampton in 1784. He was apprenticed to John Roper in 1799 and freed on 5 February 1811. It appears he started out as an engraver, becoming a bookseller, printer, stationer and publisher. He was at one point imprisoned for debt in 1835. Wallis had earlier produced the ‘New British Atlas’ in 1813 and ‘Wallis’s New Pocket Edition’ c.1812. His last atlas production was the plates for this work, ‘The Panorama’ of 1820. Several maps cite Wallis and Hinton as publisher which might indicate that towards the end of the project, they sold the rights to Reid whose imprint appears as sole publisher on the title page. Wallis retained the printing rights. We know Wallis became bankrupt later but maybe his financial difficulties began much earlier. Each map is accompanied by extensive descriptive text. A rare work, Chubb recorded ‘the only copy I have seen is in the possession of Dr. F. B. Penfold’. Provenance: private English collection. Beresiner (1983) p. 234; Chubb (1927) 372; Tooley’s Dictionary (1999-2004); Worms & Baynton-Williams (2011).