Including four additional engraved advertisements not called for ([ 1800 ])


A POETIC SURVEY ROUND BIRMINGHAM with a brief description of the different curiosities and manufactories of the place. Intended as a guide to strangers. Accompanied by a magnificent directory: with the names, professions, &c. superbly engraved in emblematic plates. Birmingham: printed for the author; by Swinney and Hawkins, High-Street., Birmingham. Sold by T. Heptinstall, Holborn, London, Swinney and Hawkins, Birmingham, and all other booksellers, [n.d. but 1800].

Date: [ 1800 ]

8vo, printed on lighter paper watermarked R 1797; pp. viii [9]-40, [41]45] 46-62, [2] advertisement; with wood-engraved head and tail pieces, with engraved frontispiece map signed ‘Hancock Sculpt’, 27 plates numbered A-X, 1-4 (pl V bound facing F1r), and with four additional unnumbered plates not called for; somewhat browned throughout, with frequent offsetting, rather faint impressions of the engravings, and with outer plate marked cropped; bound in modern brown morocco, spine in compartments with raised bands, lettered in gilt, joints and extremities lightly rubbed; still a good copy.

Goldsmiths’-Kress 17827; Norton, Jane E. A Guide to National and Provincial Directories (1984), 716; Johnson, C.R. Provincial Poetry 1789-1839. British Verse Printed in the Provinces: The Romantic Background (1992), 96.

One of the earliest illustrated trade directories and a self-conscious piece of fine printing, making attractive use of both delicate typography, and fine engraved plates. The present copy is an example of the ordinary paper copy, printed on lighter paper watermarked R 1797, though has the attraction of having four additional and uncalled for plates bound at the end. We have so far located no other copy containing these additional plates. A more deluxe Royal paper copy was available printed on heavy wove paper watermarked Whatman 1794. As the half-title also reveals, copies with proof plates, and coloured copies were also available, though both are incredibly rare. We have so far only located mention of two coloured copies: one at S.P. Lohia Foundation Rare Book Collection, who note also that the copy belonging to Mathew Boulton was hand-coloured.

modern brown morocco


Offered by Deborah Coltham Rare Books