MORANT’S ESSEX, 1768, WITH FOLIO ENGRAVED MAPS AND PLATES, EXTRA-ILLUSTRATED
MORANT, Philip. The History and Antiquities of the County of Essex. London: T. Osborne, J. Whiston, S. Baker, L. Davis, C. Reymers and B. White, 1768. Two volumes. Folio (9-1/2 by 14 inches), contemporary full brown speckled calf sympathetically rebacked with elaborately gilt-decorated spines, raised bands, red and black morocco spine labels. $3500.
First edition of this richly illustrated history of lovely Essex County, with nine engraved folding maps and 14 engraved plates, many folding, illustrating churches, manors and stately homes, including the lovely large folding plate of Audley End. This copy extra-illustrated with 25 additional engravings, aquatints and plates including four hand-painted coats-of-arms taken from stained glass and several finely rendered original ink and wash drawings.
Philip Morant is known as the historian of Essex. "His great work, The History and the Antiquities of the County of Essex is based chiefly on the collections of Thomas Jekyll and William Holman. On Holman's death in 1730 his manuscript history was placed in the hands of Nicholas Tindal, but he abandoned the project of editing it after two numbers had appeared. In 1739 Dr. Nathaniel Salmon purchased the manuscript with a view to publication. He, however, died in 1742, and the manuscript passed eventually into the hands of John Booth… from whom it was acquired about 1750 by Morant. As an editor Morant was more competent than either of his predecessors. As a manorial history his work is most useful" (DNB). "It is essential that the plate of Audley House, commonly called Audley End, and which is not mentioned in the list of plates, should not be wanting"—the Audley End plate is indeed present in this copy in its proper place, opposite page 550 in Volume II. This copy bound without the 1768 reissue of Morant's History of Colchester (with 11 plates and maps, first published 1748), which is often found with Essex. Lowndes, 1601-02. Lewine, 372. Bookplates, one armorial (Ennen of Colchester).
Marginal repair to leaf *I2. Maps and plates generally clean and fine, with a few creases only. Boards with expert restoration. Very good condition, a handsome and desirable nicely extra-illustrated copy.