GREENOUGH, George Bellas (1778-1855). A Geological Map of England and Wales. London: for the Geological Society, by Longman, etc., 1819-. Large rolled hand-coloured engraved map (1875 x 1617mm), to the scale of 5 nautical miles to one inch, laid down on linen, and attached to a contemporary roller with ratchet mechanism, original release cord with silk tassle, the map terminating in a contemporary wooden batten with brass pull-ring. (Light soiling to bottom 120mm affecting the south-western tip of Cornwall and English Channel only, splashmarks to south-west corner mainly in St George's Channel, occasional very light scattered spotting, short tear to geological key but without loss, very minor chipping to lower edge, original silk ribbon border defective in places with associated very minor losses.) The map contained in a contemporary mahogany case (115 x 1830 x 210mm), title panel lettered in gilt (extremities rubbed, slight loss to left-hand corner of lid).
EXTREMELY RARE FIRST EDITION OF GREENOUGH'S GEOLOGICAL MAP. Greenough was one the founding members of the Geological Society of London, and served as its first president until 1811. 'In 1808 he first sketched the boundary-lines of the various strata in England and Wales, and in 1810 he travelled over a great part of the country for the purpose of mapping it. At the request of the Geological Society he then, with the help of Conybeare, Buckland, and Henry Warburton, coloured a large scale-map drawn by Webster, and in 1820 published it in six sheets' (DNB). It is now recognised that he plagiarised William Smith's pioneering geological map of 1815 (see lot 26), and some have even suggested that the present work's publication drove Smith into debtors' prison. ONLY ONE OTHER COPY OF THIS MAP HAS SOLD AT AUCTION SINCE 1975 (these rooms 8 April 2009, lot 17). Challinor 91.