Octavo (145 x 115 mm.), contemporary half green calf, paper boards, with original publisher’s blue russia gilt title label affixed to upper board, spine with raised bands, gilt ruled compartments. With ornate engraved title page, Address to the Public and 44 maps comprising a general map of England and Wales, 40 maps of the English counties, separate maps of North and South Wales and the last a smaller map of the Isle of Wight not called for in the contents, all single page with the exception of the double page map of Yorkshire, all in early wash colour, small burn mark to Northumberland, otherwise in good condition.
James Wallis (fl.1810-25) was an engraver, printer and publisher in London. There were according to Worms and Baynton-Williams, three James Wallis’ active at the time who are often confused with each other. There is a bookseller (fl.1787-1807) of Ivy Lane and Paternoster Row and an engraver and jeweller of Fleet Street who became bankrupt in 1810. The belief is that this James Wallis was born in Southampton in 1784. He was apprenticed to John Roper in 1799 and made free 1811.
In about 1812 he first published ‘Wallis’s New Pocket Edition of the English Counties or Traveller’s Companion’. The maps are easily distinguished by the design of the title at the top of the map. They include a wealth of information with a key in the lower margin. In the first edition, the maps bear no plate numbers which were duly added for the second of c.1814 as here. This example though retains 8 maps in the earlier unnumbered state. In 1813, he also produced the larger format ‘Wallis’s New British Atlas’ published by Samuel Augustus Oddy although dated 1812 on the title page. Their priority is unclear. Provenance: private English collection. Beresiner (1983) pp. 234-7; Chubb (1927) 344; Worms & Baynton-Williams (2011).