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244

Rennell, James | The rare first edition of A Bengal Atlas

Rennell, James | The rare first edition of A Bengal Atlas

Rennell, James | The rare first edition of A Bengal Atlas

Rennell, James

A Bengal Atlas containing maps of the theatre of war and commerce on that side of Hindoostan. [London]: 1780


4to (285 x 225 mm) Letterpress title and contents leaf, engraved index map, 13 engraved maps, double-page or folding, 10 hand-coloured in outline, the others uncolored; very occasional stray spot or minor offsetting, but a crisp copy. Contemporary mottled calf gilt; upper joint cracked but holding, lower joint rubbed, corners bumped.


First edition, rare. "...relatively few of the original 1780 editions are extant because the main consignment sent by ship from London to India in July 1780 was captured by the Spanish en route" (Shirley, British Library).


Rennell is one of the most significant cartographers of India: "A Bengal Atlas remained the standard administrative map of Bengal for almost fifty years, the river maps being pirated in Calcutta in 1825, and the last recorded London reprint appearing in 1829 or 1830" (ODNB).


Shirley confusingly mentions an "accompanying text" which appears in his catalogue to apply to both quarto and the  folio editions of this atlas.


REFERENCE

Phillips, Atlases 3201

Condition as described in catalogue entry.


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