John Speed (1552-1629) was one of the most famous British mapmakers of the seventeenth century. He is noted for placing England into the mainstream of map publishing that was currently dominated by the Dutch. He began by issuing maps of Great Britain in his atlas, Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine, in 1611, issued by John Sudbury and George Humble. Speed spent over 15 years assembling the information for this atlas, and it is one of the most influential atlases of the British Isles ever published. Each county was illustrated with its own map, each filled with much detail, views, town plans, historic notes, coats-of-arms, and the like. For collector's of British county maps, these are among the most desirable there are. $650
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After John Speed. "Wilt shire." From John Speed's England Wales Scotland and Ireland Described. London: George Humble, 1632(?). Engraving. Ca. 3 1/2 x 5. Very good condition.
About 1605-1610, Pieter van den Keere (Petrus Kaerius) issued a collection of 44 maps of parts of the British Isles, probably intended for an atlas covering the entire isles. The counties of England and Wales were after the maps of Christopher Saxton (issued in 1579), those of Ireland were after the work of Abraham Ortelius, and those of Scotland after B. Boazio. Within a few years, John Speed issued his famous folio atlas of the British Isles and soon thereafter the van den Keere plates were in the hands of Speed's publisher, George Humble. Humble had new plates engraved for the sections of the British Isles missing from the original group, had the titles changed to English, and then in 1627 issued the new set of maps as a miniature version to accompany the second edition of the folio Speed atlas. This "miniature Speed" atlas was probably issued again in conjunction with the 1632 Speed folio, and it is from that edition that this charming map came. It shows the county of Wiltshire based on John Speed's rendering. A wonderful and early image. $65
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Jan Jansson. "Essexiæ Descriptio. The Description of Essex." Amsterdam: J. Jansson, ca. 1640. Engraving. Ca. 15 x 19 1/2. Original outline color. Some repaired marginal tears and some paper toning, but overall very good condition.
Along with those of his rival Joan Blaeu (cf. below), Jan Jansson produced some of the most sought-after and decorative maps of British counties. Jansson, the son-in-law of Jodocus Hondius, partnered with the latter's son in publishing atlases containing beautiful maps of all parts of the world. One of these atlases included county maps of the British Isles, including these excellent images. They show impressive detail and include decorative cartouches as well as other decorative flourishes. $625
Maps by Joan Blaeu. Amsterdam: J. Blaeu, ca. 1645-60. Engravings. Folio maps. Full original hand coloring. Full margins. Very good condition.
The Blaeu cartographic firm of Amsterdam was started by Willem Blaeu at the beginning of the sixteenth century. The firm soon grew to become the largest and most important cartographic publishing firms in the world, run by his sons Cornelis (until his death in 1642) and Joan. The maps issued by the Blaeu firm are known for their fine engraving, coloring and design, and have been called "the highest expression of Dutch cartographic art." These beautiful maps of British counties issued by the firm are typical of their work, with clear topographical information as well as profuse decorative elements. These include coats-of-arms and heraldic shields of various local noblemen and delightfully illustrated title cartouches.
A lovely county map of Shorpshire and Staffordshire from the end of the seventeenth century. The map was issued by the Dutch firm of Schenck & Valk, based on the cartography of Jan Jansson, whose business they had purchased. Towns, rivers, estates and some topography is indicated. The decorative features are delightful, including putti, sheep and rabbits, and some figures of local farmers, all beautifully hand tinted in period color. $625
Robert Morden. "Wilt Shire." From William Camden's Britannia. London: Edmund Gibson, 1695. First edition. Ca. 14 x 16 1/2, except as noted. Uncolored as issued. Full margins. Very good condition, except as noted.
A map of Wiltshire from Camden's famous description of Great Britain issued the late seventeenth century. These maps are noted for their clear detail and attractive cartouches. Of particular interest is Morden's measurement of longitude based on a prime meridian through St. Paul's Cathedral in London, shown in minutes at the top and degrees at the bottom. $210
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Thomas Badeslade. "Lincolnshire." From Chorographia Britanniæ Or A Set of Maps of all the Counties in England and Wales. London: W.H. Toms, 1742. First edition (dated in map 1741). Engravings by W.H. Toms. Ca. 5 1/2 x 5 3/4. [Separated at lower half of centerfold] Very good condition, except as noted.
A wonderful series of small British county maps from the middle of the eighteenth century. Thomas Badeslade (fl. 1719-1745) was a surveyor, engineer, and author, and these maps are based upon his surveys. The images were engraved by W.H. Toms, who also published the atlas. Each county map is strongly engraved with good information presented, often with an unusual orientation. The map itself is accompanied by a panel of text with information about the county. $50
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Emanuel Bowen. "An Accurate Map of Berkshire...." London: J. & T. Bowles, R. Sayer & J. Tinney, 1756-60. 21 x 27. Engraving by E. Bowen. Narrow margin at bottom; otherwise, full margins. Original outline color. Some small iron gall ink stains in top corners. Light stain in left margin, extending 1 3/4" inside neat line at widest point. Small replaced section in left margin, 2" at widest point, extending to just inside neat line. Separation along bottom 4" of center fold; repaired. Otherwise, very good condition.
Another wonderful map from the Large English Atlas. This map is by Emanuel Bowen, equally well known as a cartographer to his colleague in the atlas, Thomas Kitchin. This map of Berkshire has several paragraphs dotted about the map describing major towns, a list of the seats of the local nobility, and a text about the Earls of Berkshire. Two elaborate cartouches grace opposite corners. Hills, roads, towns, villages, cities, country estates, churches, and much else is clearly presented, and the hundreds are outlined in contrasting colors. A most impressive map historically and visually. $350
Published in 1765, London by R. Sayer and J. & C Bowles. Both maps dissected into 16 sections, mounted on linen and folded into original paper covers. Each ca. 27 x 21. Engravings by E. Bowen. Original outline color. The large county maps by Bowen were not just issued in the Large English Atlas (cf. above), but also as separate maps. These maps were mounted on linen so that they folded into a small, ca. 6 1/2 x 5 1/2, size, which then was inserted into a paper envelope. Maps such as this would be easier to handle, store, and perhaps use when one was travelling. Maps such as this, however, are also scarcer as they have a much lower survival rate than atlas maps. Following are two nice examples.
James Duncan. "New Map of the County of Norfolk." From A Complete County Atlas of England & Wales. London: J. Duncan, 1833. Engravings by Edward Hoare and J. Reeves. Ca. 17 x 14. Original outline color. Very good condition.
From a striking set of county maps of England and Wales by James Duncan. Each map shows the hundreds, the district divisions, "and other Local Arrangements effected by the Reform Bill." Detail is most impressive, all finely and clearly engraved, and this includes parks, towns and villages, major estates, some topography, rivers, lakes, and woods. Issued during a period of great expansion of the transportation network throughout the country, these maps carry particularly good information on canals and roads, including mail, turnpike, 'good travelling,' and bye roads. $225
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Thomas Moule. "Dorsetshire." From The English Counties Delineated. London: George Virtue, 1837. Engraving with original hand color. 8 x 10. Trimemd slightly at left. Else, very good condition.
A map of Dorsetshire from probably the most attractive of the nineteenth century series of British county maps. Included are vignettes of scenes, buildings, coats-of-arms, and monuments reflecting more than just the topography of the county depicted. It is maps like these which make collecting British county maps so satisfying. $85
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John Archer. "Kent." From Thomas Dugdale & William Burnett's Curiosities of Great Britain. London, ca. 1845. Ca. 7 x 9. Steel engraving by J. Archer. Original outline color. Very good condition.
Thomas Dugdale was an antiquarian, who along with civil engineer William Burnett, issued a multi-volume work entitled Curiosities of Great Britain. Containing text, engraved views and maps of the counties of Great Britain, the Curiosities appeared in several editions beginning about 1840. The maps were prepared by John Archer, a skilled engraver who also produced maps for The British Magazine and The Colonial Church Atlas. The maps are typical of the precisely engraved maps of the period, with copious, accurate detail of towns, roads, and rail lines. The divisions of each county are indicated with outline color, so while the maps are somewhat utilitarian in appearance, they have a nice decorative appeal. $50
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