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The Mapping of North America

Mr. Philip D. Burden​
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John Nicholson Mappesiani Bibliopoli Cant. Custos.

John Nicholson, Cambridge, March 1 1790
570 x 380 mm., stipple engraving, a little frayed along the edges, very small tear in the sky, backed on india paper, otherwise in good condition.
Large engraving of the well-known bookseller John Nicholson of Cambridge. In 1752 he married the daughter of the Robert Watts who operated the first circulating library in Cambridge. His nickname seen in the title was ‘Maps’ which apparently derives from him being a ghost writer for idle undergraduates. One of the finest bibliopolistic images, the definition of which is a bookdealer, especially one dealing in rare or used books. The original oil painting by Phillip Reinagle hangs in the University Library at Cambridge. The print is stipple engraved by James Caldwell (1739-1822), highly rated by bibliographers. He also engraved cartouche for cartographic items. He is depicted carrying a pile of books in front of Trinity College Cambridge.

The engraved dedication below states “To the Revd. the Vice Chancellor, the Masters, Fellows, Scholars and Students of the University of Cambridge. This print published at their request, the profits of which I give to Addenbrooke Hospital, is most humbly dedicated by their obliged & most obedient Servant, John Nicholson”. Refer Blackburn collection lot 53; Mackenzie (1998) ‘British Prints’; Slater (1912); Worms & Baynton-Williams (2011).
Stock number: 8348


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