BLOME, Richard (1641-1705). A Geographical Description of the Four Parts of the World. London: T[homas] N[ewcombe] for R. Blome, 1670.
5 parts in one volume. Folio (14 6/8 x 9 2/8 inches). Title-page printed in red and black. Fine engraved double-page folding double-hemisphere map of the world and 24 fine double-page maps, including 7 folding, each with original hand-colour in outline and cartouches hand-coloured in full and mounted on guards, engraved dedication leaf to the "Travel" section, engraved head-piece vignettes and initials. Fine modern sprinkled panelled calf, spine decorated in gilt, antique.
Provenance: with an elaborate frontispiece gouache coat-of-arms with manuscript dedication to Heneage Finch, 1st Earl of Nottingham, Baron of Daventry and Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of England, SIGNED BY BLOME.
First edition, the date on title-page altered in manuscript to read 1672 instead of 1670, and an attractive copy of a rare and beautiful atlas, based on the works of French cartographer Nicholas Sanson. Inscribed by Blome beneath a fine coat-of-arms: "To the Right Hon.ble Heneago Finch / Baron Finch of Daventry & Lord Keeper / of the Great Seale of England &c. / This volume of Geography is humbly / Presented by / My Lord / Ye Hon.rs most humble servant / Richard Blome." The coat-of-arms was probably painted by Blome, as he began his career as an heraldic painter. With John Ogilby he is credited with inaugurating a new period of activity in English cartography, if not geography. S. Mendyk described him as "an opportunistic, business-like cultivator of both patronage and the mapmaker's art" (DNB).
With a rare Royal decree in the form of a broadside bound in immediately after the front free endpaper, in which, the King (Charles II) forbids his subjects to reprint or reproduce in any form the contents of the atlas. The decree is dated 14 March 1668/9 and predates a royal decree of assistance found on the verso of the letterpress dedication leaf which is dated 10 July 1669. In addition to the world map which shows California as an island, there are two fine maps of the American continent: "A New Mapp of America Septentrionale", and "A New Mapp of America Meridionale". From the library of Heneage Finch, who as a staunch Royalist, held many important and powerful positions in government during the reigns of Charles I and II. Sabin 5968 Shirley, British Library T.BLOM-1a; Wing B3214.