Imperial folio (555 x 370 mm.), contemporary half calf, red cloth boards with gilt ruling and title embossed to upper board, raised bands to the spine with ornate gilt tooling to compartments, and gilt title, rubbed. With title page, pp. (6), 137, with 35 double page steel engraved maps, all in early wash colour, first two gutters with tape repair, otherwise in good condition.
The successful firm of W. & A. K. Johnston was founded by Sir William Johnston (1802-88) and was based in Edinburgh from 1825. The following year he was joined by his brother Alexander Keith Johnston. The ‘Physical Atlas’ offered here is the ‘first British atlas to give a synoptic view of physical geography’ (Tooley). First published in 1848 this is an example of the expanded edition of 1856 with 5 more maps. It is arranged under Geology 11 maps, Hydrology 6 maps, Meteorology 6, Botany 2, Natural History 6, Ethnology and Statistics 4. The atlas is based on Berghaus’ ‘Physikalischer Atlas’. Provenance: ‘Herbert Bottomly from his Mother October 1884’; pasted label of ‘Lucius Herbert Ingham’ inside upper cover; private collection of Rodney Shirley. Dreyer-Eimbcke, Oswald (1997) ‘Heinrich Berghaus and August Petermann’ in ‘IMCoS Journal’ 70 pp. 19-27; Shirley (2000) ‘Berghaus and Johnston: Pioneers of the Thematic Atlas’, in IMCoS Journal no. 83 pp. 31-5; Smith, D. (2000) ‘The Business of ‘W. & A. K. Johnston’ 1826-1901′, in IMCoS Journal 82 pp. 9-19; Smith, David. (2001). ‘The Cartography of ‘W. & A. K. Johnston’ 1826-1901′, in IMCoS Journal no. 86 pp. 5-16.