PITT, Moses (fl.1654-1696). The English Atlas. Oxford: at the Theater, London: for Moses Pitt, 1680. Volume I only, 2° (595x 390mm). Title printed in red and black with engraved vignette, additional engraved title, engraved portrait frontispiece of Charles II, 43 double-page engraved maps, one double-page Laplanders plate, 2 engraved headpieces, one with a portrait of Charles II, woodcut head- and tail-pieces and initials, woodcut text illustrations. (Portrait, additional title, initial text-leaves and first few maps lightly creased, first world map and text-leaf C2 with browning, occasional faint spotting, soiling and browning heaviest to portrait and additional title.) Contemporary calf, the spine gilt in 10 compartments, red morocco lettering piece in third, the rest elaborately tooled (splits to joints at head and foot, corners and head- and tailcaps heavily rubbed, covers scuffed). Provenance: Richard Grosvenor, first Earl Grosvenor (1731-1802, armorial bookplate).
VOLUME ONE OF PITT'S FAMOUS WORK, including two fine world maps and a map of the North Pole, with the remaining sheets covering northern and eastern Europe. Most of the maps derive from the cartography of Johannes Janssonius, with degrees of latitude and longitude added in the border. Three maps are devoted to Russia, with further coverage of the Baltic States, Poland and Scandinavia. The only map by Pitt himself is the one of the Arctic Regions. Moses Pitt, a London bookseller, had an ambitious plan to produce a 12-volume atlas in the Blaeu-Jansson tradition: however, only the first four atlases were published, and only the text to the fifth was printed. The project halted when Pitt was imprisoned for debts incurred as a result of building speculation. Shirley BL T.PITT-1a.