London: Benj. Dodd, August 1743. George Bickham. First Edition. Hardcover. Folio (7-1/2" x 12-1/2") bound in contemporary marbled boards rebacked with a modern calf spine and a maroon gilt-lettered leather spine label. Engraved frontispiece of Britannia (strengthened), title, "Conditions," subscribers' list (2 leaves), engraved double-page map, engraved table (torn at fold with half loss), and 190 numbered plates (lacking plate 163, which is the missing half of the previously noted table), plates 83 and 164 loosely inserted from another copy). All pages entirely engraved and printed on the recto only, with most pages illustrated. Among the illustrations are four maps, numerous scenic views, and vignettes of people engaged in various activities. Separate title page dated 1747 for the American Colonies section which includes 21 pages with illustrations of Native Americans, colonists, ships, etc., with descriptions of Carolina, New England, Georgia, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia. Africa and India are also represented, though very briefly. Sabin 5222. Contemporary armorial bookplate of James Norman, likely a relation to John Norman, a listed subscriber, on the front pastedown. Four vignettes partially hand-colored, browning and occasional moderate waterstaining, final leaf trimmed, a few contemporary marginal notes. A Very Good, attractive example, nearly complete but for the missing half of the table, of this uncommon early title with much on the American colonies. Item #016455
The title page is a subscribers variant, with non-subscribers editions omitting "Proposals for Engraving by Subscription" and with a different imprint. George Bickham the Elder (1684-1758) was an English writing master and engraver. He is best known for his engraving work in THE UNIVERSAL PENMAN, a collection of writing exemplars which helped to popularize the English Round Hand script in the 18th century.