Oblong quarto (190 x 240 mm.), full contemporary calf, joint to upper board weak, spine with raised bands, ornate gilt decorated compartments, gilt title and volume number. With three half titles to each part, part 4 contains 6 maps, 9 town plans and 39 plates; part 5 contains 2 maps and 34 plates; part 6 contains 8 maps, 4 plan and 16 plates, in total 114 plates consisting of 16 maps, 9 plans and 89 plates light water stain affecting about 6 plates, otherwise in good condition.
Pierre van der Aa (1659-1733) was born in Leiden, the son of a stone cutter or sculptor. By the time he was but nine years old he was already apprenticed to a bookseller. By 1682 he was the owner of a bookshop and auction. His output is so large that Koeman was sure that there were works yet to be identified. His printed catalogue of 1729 alludes to the fact that works could be made to order.
As with many of his published books the source of the plates contained within is various. This work appears to be on the British Isles and to consist of 6 parts, the last three of which are present here. The 16 maps were those first published in Jan Jansson’s ‘Atlas Minor’ of 1648. Here the fundamental difference is the titles are now in French. The 9 plans were all first published in ‘Britannia Magna sive Anglia’ by Rutger Hermannides. The main difference here is the addition of a key above and some additional toponyms on each plate. The 89 views, largely birds-eye images of country houses, are all from James Beeverall’s ‘Les Delices de la Grand Bretagne et L’Irlande’ first published in 1707 and expanded in 1727. Beyond this work we now very little about Beeverall. The illustrations are derived from Loggan, Kip, Slezer and others and are engraved by Jan Goeree (1670-1731). First published in 1707 this second edition is greatly expanded and updated. Despite many images being derived from earlier published works they are by no means slavish copies. Many bear additional decoration of features.
Provenance: bookplate of Sir William Maxwell of Monreith pasted inside upper cover. Adams (1967) 20; Brunet (1860-80) 1735; Burden (1992) ‘Berkshire Town Plans’ pp. 10-11; Deadman & Brooks (2015) pp. 22 & 24; Frostick (2011) no. 15; Koeman (1967-70) I pp. 1-30, II Me 204; Lowndes (1864) 146; Upcott (1968) p. xxiv.