Lots also include a large number of rare London maps and notably two first edition copies of the Greenwood London maps published in 1827. Brothers Christopher and John Greenwood spent three years on their new survey of London (1824-26) producing a highly detailed map of on a scale of 8in to a mile. Engraved by James and Josiah Neele, it outlined plans for the development of Belgravia and Bayswater and the recent additions of both the Grand Surrey Canal and Regent's Park. Each map has an estimate of £5,000-10,000. “The extensive collection of London atlases is the largest collection to come to market for some time,” said Sworders Books & Manuscripts specialist Michael Kousah.
Also going under the hammer is one of the great English botanical books of the following century, Flora Londinensis by William Curtis. A folio-sized book published in parts between 1777-98, it describes the botany found in and around London in the 1700s. The copy owned by Bentley, in three leather-bound volumes, is estimated at £5,000-7,000.
Previous works on the flora of Britain had been intended for scientists, apothecaries, and herbalists, but Curtis (the director at the Chelsea Physic Garden) wrote for the general reader. He commissioned several painters to produce the hand-coloured copper engravings to assist in the identification of a species.