THE INCREDIBLY RARE FIRST STATE from arguably the rarest and most desirable of the early playing cards done of the English counties. There are only three substantial collections of first state William Redmayne’s known to survive. First published in 1676 with just outline suitmarks, the second state issued the following year contained vertical bars for red suits or cross-hatching for the black suits. Only one recorded complete pack in either state survives. Redmayne’s cards were published just three months after those of Robert Morden and advertised in the Trinity Term catalogue as being for sale by ‘Redmayne at the Crown on Addle Hill; Henry Mortlock at the Phoenix, Robert Turner at the Star, in St. Paul’s Church-yard; H. Cox in Holborn; and B. Billingsley at the Printing Press in Cornhill’. Redmayne was a printer active between 1674 and 1719. In 1719 he was imprisoned for printing libel on the government and died in April in Newgate Prison of a fever. The maps on the Redmayne cards are smaller than those on the rival by Morden and are reminiscent of those thumb-nail maps by Matthew Simmons in 1635.
Each map is accompanied by surrounding descriptive text on their respective commodities and points of interest. The Diamond suit mark bears an image of a knave nearby. Provenance: ‘Elizabeth Browse’ inscribed on the verso. Beresiner (2010) p. 18; Booth (1977) no. 20; not in Chubb; Hodson (1984) I no. 146; King (2003) p. 141; Mann, Sylvia and David Kingsley. (1972). ‘Playing Cards Depicting maps of the British Isles, and of English and Welsh Counties’, in The Map Collectors’ Circle, no. 87 pp. 3-4, 18-19, App. II no. 4, App. III no. 3. pl. xii (listing all the cards); Skelton 96.