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Blome’s account of the British Colonies in America… complete and with superb provenance
 
Author:Richard Blome
Title:A Description of the Island of Jamaica; with the other Isles and Territories in America, to which the English are related, viz. Barbadoes, St. Christopher…Antego, St. Vincent, Dominica, Montserrat, Anguilla, Barbada, Bermudes, Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, New-York, New England, New-foundland….
Published:London, Printed by T. Milbourn, and sold by the Book-sellers of London and Westminster, 1672 [but 1673]
Description:1st ed. [8],192pp. plus four engraved folding maps. 12mo. Gilt-ruled full calf with morocco labels, bound by Pratt “for H. Stevens 1871.”
Condition:Maps trimmed close for binding and Jamaica map lined with linen. Front board with bit of glue residue, front hinge repaired, and rear hinge reinforced. Otherwise a truly fine copy.
  
Price:Sold    Inventory:    BRM1654
  
A wonderful little promotional volume for Great Britain’s American Colonies, highlighted by a suite of charming and significant maps. This example has the considerable added appeal of having been bound by Pratt for Henry Stevens (1819-1886), the famed American bibliographer and bookseller.

The four maps are as follows:

  • “A New & Exact Map of ye Isle of Jamaica.” Engraved by Hollar, this map contains an inset of the Caribbean and has a cartouche flanked by the arms of the island and its governors. Burden #421.
  • “A Map of the Island of Barbados taken by the latest Survey by Ric. Blome 1672.” Also based on a map in Ogilby’s America (1670).
  • “A Generall Mapp of Carolina,” derived from Horne’s extremely rare map of 1666 and only the second map of the colony. Burden #420.
  • “A Draught of the Sea Coast and Rivers of Virginia, Maryland, and New England.” The first English map of the northern and middle colonies. Bearing the Calvert arms and an inset of Newfoundland, then a possession of the Calvert family. Burden #419.
Though the Barbados map is dated 1672, most bibliographies (such as Sabin) do not call for it in the first edition. The last example of Blome’s Description to appear on the market was the DuPont copy, which lacked the Barbados map and sold at Christies for $5500 in 1991. The Description was reprinted in 1678 (with all four maps) and again in 1687 with the title Present State of His Majesty’s Isles and Territories in America.


References
European Americana, #672.27. Sabin #5966. “Richard Blome,” in MapForum.com (2006). Not in Howes or Streeter.
 
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