23 September 2004
HERMAN MOLL (c.1654-1732)
A System of Geography: or, a New & Accurate Description of the Earth in all its Empires, Kingdoms and States. London: for A. and J. Churchill, 1701. 2 parts in one volume, small 2° (316 x 207mm). Title printed in red and black, 40 engraved maps, 2 full-page, small engraved map in text, 2 engraved solar diagrams. (Short tear to map of Scotland, two maps and several text leaves browned in Part II, some very light dampstaining.) Contemporary calf panelled in blind, spine in compartments (short split to upper joint, light wear to extremities). Provenance: William Clevland (d.1735), (ownership inscription to title -- John Clevland (c.1707-1763), (book label pasted inside upper cover) -- by descent to the present owners.
FIRST EDITION of Moll's important work, with a distinguished provenance. A Commander in the Royal Navy, William Clevland had a long and distinguised naval career. His son John, MP for Saltash and Sandwich, also pursued a naval career, and was appointed joint Secretary of the Admiralty in 1746, assisting Thomas Corbett, becoming sole Secretary on the latter's death. The Geography contains the latest 'discoveries and corrections' since the publication of the Thesaurus Geographicus in 1695. Part II contains Luyts's descriptions of Asia, Africa and America. Nine maps relate to America and include the representation of California as an island. Phillips, Atlases 536; NMM, p.454.
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