The Compleat Irish Traveller, containing A general Description of the most Noted Cities, Towns, Seats, Buildings, Loughs &c. in the Kingdom of Ireland, Interspersed with Observations on the Manners, Customs, Antiquities, Curiosities and Natural History of that Country. With Elegant Copper Plates. [With 20 original Plates after Charles Smith, including engraved titlepage and Frontispiece: Maps, City and Town views and the very rare plan of the “Grand Canal from Dublin to the River Shannon” / Copper engravings of Cork, Lismore Castle, Kinsale Harbour and Town etc. [see large amount of images and detailed list of all the illustrations present at the end of this description].
Original First Edition. Volume One [of Two] / [But with more plates than called for]. London, Printed for the Proprietors and Sold by the Booksellers (price 14s. Bound), 1788. Octavo (13.5 cm x 21 cm). Pagination: Volume I: Frontispiece, engraved Titlepage, 189 pages with 18 plates [The last page of text was missing but was added in manuscript handwriting]. The eighteen (18) plates include eight (8) beautifully engraved large folding views of Waterford, Dungarvan, Youghal, Cork, Kinsale & Lismore and large folding maps of Waterford & Cork, evidently printed from the original plates of Charles Smith’s Histories of Waterford and of Cork (1746, 1774). Printed by Charles Smith and Anthony Chearnley, engraved by Giles King, S. Wheatley & Thomas Chambers. 19th century Hardcover / Dark green half – leather. The binding is in excellent condition. The interior bookblock and the plates are in very good and very clean condition. Only six (6) leaves with central brown stain, map of Waterford with paper repairs to blank verso, otherwise remarkably clean and tight. A work of utmost rarity. Extremely scarce with the usually missing, allegorical Frontispiece and ″ Plan of Dublin Grand Canal”. Only 4 copies have appeared at auction in the last 30 years, and this copy of Vol I has more plates than all but one of the 2-volume sets listed by ABPC. Collates as Vol I of the same edition in Trinity College Dublin, which also has the plates from Smith’s Histories. The second volume was shorter, only 74 pp. and up to 6 plates (cf. ESTC T85086 which like our copy, is only Vol I, but T85086 has only 7 single and 3 double page plates so 8 less than our copy and the Trinity College Dublin copy).