Quarto, 2 volumes (250 x 160 mm. each), contemporary half calf, cloth boards, ornate blind ruling, spine with ornate gilded raised bands, blind ruled compartments, gilt volume numbers and gilt calf title labels. With engraved frontispiece, engraved title page, typographic title page, pp. (2), ii, (40, 812; (2), 813-1582, with 58 steel engraved maps consisting of 2 general, 43 English county maps (Yorkshire divided into 4), Isle of Wight and 12 Welsh counties all in full early wash colour. Front endpapers to second volume stuck to each other, otherwise in good condition.
VERY RARE. Thomas Dugdale was an antiquarian who was responsible for the ‘Curiosities of Great Britain’. The work was issued with two distinct sets of maps. The first utilised those maps from the George Cole and John Roper ‘British Atlas’ of 1810. This second series used a new series of maps engraved by Joshua Archer (1792-1863) which were derived from those of Cole and Roper. The publishers J. & F. Tallis had acquired the Cole and Roper plates and the Dugdale text by c.1835. They continued to issue the text with the maps and then offered this new series of plates concurrently.
The firm of Tallis then published this ‘Topographical Dictionary’ edited by Edward Litt Laman (E. L.) Blanchard (1820-89). Blanchard came from the theatre and was at one point responsible for the annual pantomime at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. He began work on the Dictionary in 1852 and was paid on average £2-3 each per part. The final 43rd part was supplied in December 1859. The finished work is published by Lucinda Tallis (1792-1869), widow of John Tallis who died in 1842. The ‘Topographical Dictionary’ was presumably not very successful as it is extremely rare. The only known examples are at Cambridge University Library and three in private English collections, this possibly being one of them. Beresiner (1983) pp. 46-7; Carroll (1996) 112; Smith, D. (1985) pp. 123-4; Worms & Baynton-Williams (2011).