BOWEN, Emanuel (c.1693-1767). A Complete System of Geography. Being a Description of All the Countries, Islands, Cities, Chief Towns, Harbours... of the Known World. London: for William Innys, Richard Ware et al., 1747.
2 volumes, 2° (415 x 264mm). Titles printed in red and black. One engraved plate of 'A Circle of Winds ... The Artificial Sphere' and 48 engraved maps by Bowen (only, of 71 maps and plates called for in vol. II list of maps and plates), 24 double-page, one double-page folding, and one double-page hand-coloured map. Woodcut tailpieces and initials. Cancellans leaf I, 2E1 and quires II, [5C] and [5c], retaining cancellandum II, 10A2 and with cancellans II, 10A2 with errata bound in before II, 10A1. (Occasional spotting and marking, some browning, occasional light offsetting from maps onto text, a few leaves with light marginal dampstaining, I, 8G1.2 misbound in reverse order, lacking privilege leaf, one map backed on one half, vol. II preliminary leaves misbound after vol. I preliminaries.) Contemporary speckled calf, spines gilt in compartments, gilt morocco lettering-pieces, red edges (worn with small losses, splitting on joints, lacking 2 lettering-pieces). Provenance: John Clevland (c.1707-1763, booklabel on upper pastedown; some maps numbered in margins by an early hand and check-marks on list of maps; by descent).
FIRST EDITION of the System of Geography, by 'one of the leading 18th-century map and printsellers and engravers in London' (Tooley), based on the fourth and final edition of the Compleat Geographer published by Herman Moll. The maps, which were intended as a complete atlas in themselves, include two world maps and a number relating to the Americas; although they are all signed by Bowen, Shirley suggests that some may be by Thomas Kitchin. This copy is from the library of John Clevland, MP for Saltash and Sandwich, who also pursued a naval career, and was appointed joint Secretary of the Admiralty in 1746, assisting Thomas Corbett, and becoming sole Secretary on the latter's death. The preliminaries to volume II bear a second plate list on [g]2v calling for 27 plates and maps, not calling for 'A Circle of Winds ... The Artificial Sphere' plate or the two world maps (all of which are present here). Phillips Atlases 603 (calling for 70 maps and plates); BL Maps in the Atlases of the British Library T.BOW-2a. (2)