LARCOMB, Thomas A., & Sir Richard GRIFFITH.

A General Map of Ireland to accompany the Report of the Railway Commissioners shewing the physical features and geological structures of the country. Constructed in 1836 & engraved 1837–8.

Published & sold by Hodges & Smith, Dublin and James Gardner, London with whom copies geologically coloured are deposited, price twenty shillings plain.1839

Large engraved map with contemporary hand colouring, 71 x 58 inches (180 x 147 cm) across the engraved area, dissected and mounted on 6 folding linen sheets edged in red cloth. Signed by Larcombe and Griffith (see below). In its original plain linen wrap and contained in its original leather case with flap and tongue, lettered in gilt on spine. The case inscribed “Major Hodge, 4th Dragoon Guards.” The case rubbed and a little worn at the corners, the map in fine condition.

FIRST EDITION, first issue of the second published geological map and railway map of Ireland. Griffith’s first geological map of Ireland, on a scale of 1 inch to 10 miles, was published in July 1838 to accompany the second report of the Irish Railway Commission. The publication of the present much larger map, on a scale of 1 inch to 4 miles, was delayed but it finally appeared in March 1839. The present copy is uncoloured geologically, but it appears that such copies are very rare and were only coloured to order. “It was remarkably detailed…” (DSB). The first railway map of Ireland was contained in the same second Report of the Irish Railway Commission (the first Report does not appear to have included a map), and in the same way was succeeded by the present map. “Title, left-hand top corner. Legend with 26 tablets in left-hand margin. Signed: ‘Dublin, March 28th, 1839 Richard Griffith.’ References, authorities and scales in lower margin. Below these is the MS. signature of Thos. A. Larcomb, Lieut. R.Eng. (in charge of the Trigonometrical Survey of Ireland at this time and responsible for the engraved basis of the present map and plate)… Coloured examples of this map have not been seen, but an uncoloured copy is in the Library of the Geological Survey, London” (Davis). A.G. Davis, “Notes on Griffith’s geological maps of Ireland” in J. Soc. Bibl. of Natural History, 2, 6 (Oct. 1950), pp. 209–211. For particulars of Griffith’s life and work, particularly the progress of his geological survey of Ireland, see M. H. Close, “Anniversary address to the Royal Geological Society of Ireland” in J. Roy. Geol. Soc. Ireland, 15 (NS. 5, 1880): 132–148. See also Joan M. Eyles in DSB, 5, 537–539.


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