WHALLEY, Minnie. Maps of English Counties. No publisher. [n.d., c. 1935].
Oblong 4to. 25.5 by 36 cm. Album in original beige cloth, handwritten large title label with pen and ink border decoration upper cover; with 29 manuscript maps, done in pen and ink and watercolours, title/contents page with floral ornamentation for borders; a little soiling to cover and label, otherwise near fine.
This a charming and beautifully drawn manuscript atlas. There is one map for each English shire, plus London, with each map surrounded by many vignette illustrations highlighting points of interest and activities (industry, agriculture, cultural, sports) associated with the particular area. The number of these vignettes can vary, with London, which has the greatest number, featuring by our count 33, with pictures of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, St. Paul's, and other landmarks, of a Beefeater, a radio announcer, an equestrian, a bobby, zoo animals, paintings to mark galleries, a painter before a canvas to suggest Chelsea, and more. In some of the maps, there are additional tiny vignettes worked into the map, such as a fly fisherman or a golfer, over and above the many tiny cottage illustrations to mark villages, towns and cities in the particular county. London may have the greatest number of these vignettes, but the others are just as charming. For example, Hertfordshire has marching vegetables to signify market gardens, small planes for "aerodromes", rather precise representations of Haileybury & Imperial S. College, and so on.
Minnie Whalley was a listed Cornwall artist, which is where she was originally from. She studied at the Gloucester School of Art and the Birmingham Central School of Arts and Crafts, and exhibited at the Clifton Arts Club, of which she was a member, the Dundee Society of Artists and the Royal West of England Academy, the oldest art gallery in Bristol, where she came to reside, and the St. Ives Art Gallery. Besides painting, Whalley worked in pewter and embroidery. She was included in the 1929 edition of "Who's Who in Art."