Clive A. Burden LTD. Rare Maps, Antique Atlases, Books and Decorative Prints

The Mapping of North America

Mr. Philip D. Burden‚Äč
P.O. Box 863,
Chalfont St. Giles, Bucks HP6 9HD,
Tel: +44 (0) 1494 76 33 13

AN UNRECORDED MAP BY JOHN SELLER IN SECOND STATE. This extremely rare item falls into the rare group of known as diagrammatic maps of the roads of England and Wales which are after John Ogilby’s ‘Britannia’. The roads are the main feature of the map and are laid down in virtually straight double ruled lines. The computed distance in miles between towns is plotted. There are very few ever published of England and Wales, the majority were separately issued and are extremely rare. The first map derived from the work of John Ogilby was published by John Adams in twelve sheets in 1677. That map and his two-sheet derivative published in 1679 were both accurate maps in that the shape of the country portrayed was accurate at the time. The first diagrammatic map published was that of William Berry in 1679, this did not even bear a coastline, only double ruled lines across the map to indicate the roads. John Overton published a similar map next and is given the date c.1685 by Shirley. This map bears a crude geographical outline.

The third listed in Shirley was believed to by by John Seller senior and junior in partnership and given the date of c.1690. However this map unknown to Shirley bears the imprint of John Seller only and a slightly different title. It is indeed an entirely different copperplate. Seller junior appears to have jointly issued items with his father from 1684 indicating that this plate was issued prior to that date and is likely the second diagrammatic map published. It is even possible that it can be dated earlier to the announcement of the ‘Atlas Anglicanus’ in the ‘Term Catalogues’ for 24 November 1679 by Seller, John Oliver and Richard Palmer. This would be an appropriate map for this work, no other topographical atlas he produced at the time might warrant such a map.

This map was first identified in 1996, in this second state it adds the address at ‘Pope’s Head Alley’ and ‘The Channel’. There are therefore only two recorded examples both in different states. The map bears two ornate cartouche, one of a delightful road side scene with two riders and a pedestrian framing the title. An Explanation, imprint and Royal Coat of Arms are within the second. Refer Shirley Seller 6 (not listed); Skelton (1970) pp. 186-7; Tyacke (1978) no. 87; refer Woodward, David (1978). ‘English Cartography, 1650-1750′: A Summary’, in ‘The Compleat Plattmaker’ edited by Norman J. W. Thrower pp. 174-5.


A Mapp of the Roads of England

London, c.1678
525 x 415 mm., in fine early wash colour, tear into the image on the right side just above the centrefold with no loss, with extended margin above, toned in the lower margin, otherwise in good condition.
Stock number: 8063


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