Clive A. Burden LTD. Rare Maps, Antique Atlases, Books and Decorative Prints

The Mapping of North America

Mr. Philip D. Burden‚Äč
P.O. Box 863,
Chalfont St. Giles, Bucks HP6 9HD,
Tel: +44 (0) 1494 76 33 13

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The firm of Laurie and Whittle relied heavily on the plates of Robert Sayer acquired following his death in 1794. Often thought of as mere publishers Robert Laurie (1755-1836) was a noted craftsman. He was a talented mezzotint engraver who invented a method of mezzotint printing in colour, an achievement that won him an award from the Royal Society of Arts in 1776. In the early 1790s he entered the publishing business with James Whittle (1757-1818) as his partner. The acquisition of Sayer’s stock catapulted them into the major league. In 1806 they published a road book entitled the ‘Laurie and Whittle’s New Traveller’s Companion’ which included road maps. They were compiled by Nathaniel Coltman who, working for the Post Office was perfectly placed to produce them. Engraved by J. Bye, E. Jones, B. Smith and W. West, they covered territory as far as the Isle of Wight and Scotland. The format was a change from the past which until now had largely followed the strip map format devised by John Ogilby in 1675. Coltman produces clear maps which cover larger areas for easier reference. The maps are strictly functional concentrating just on roads and distances, the earlier use of nearby features such as churches and hills is omitted. It was a success with a number of editions following and alterations were constantly made to the plates to bring them up-to-date.

In 1812 Robert Laurie retired and was replaced in the partnership by his son Richard Holmes Laurie and the firm changed its name to Whittle and Laurie. This example of the eighth edition from 1818 reflects the change in partnership. It is issued in the year of James Whittle’s death. Provenance: stationer’s label of W. houghton, 161 New Bond Street, London pasted inside front cover; private English collection. Beresiner pp. 136-9; Carroll Appendix no. 16; Fordham ‘Roads’ p. 51 (not listing this edition).
LAURIE, Robert & WHITTLE, James

Whittle and Laurie's New Traveller's Companion: Exhibiting a Complete and Correct Survey of all the Direct and Principal Cross Roads in England, Wales, and Scotland:

James Whittle and Robert Holmes Laurie, London, 1818
Quarto (255 x 175 mm.), contemporary full limp blue calf, worn, with pocket, lacking flap, marbled endpapers. With typographic title page as above, 10 pp. including advert, Explanation and indexes, a folding engraved general map of England and Wales and 25 double page engraved maps all in early outline colour, complete with blank endpapers. With some light offsetting, otherwise in good condition.
Stock number: 10507


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