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

The Mapping of North America

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

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A very rare version of Christopher Browne’s wall map of England and Wales entitled ‘Nova Totius Angliae Tabula’ first published in 1700. Browne (fl.1688-1712) was apprenticed to Robert Walton and after his death in 1688 took over his stock. He was not prolific with his production and all material associated with him is scarce. The largest item we know of is this wall map on 15 sheets. As the title goes on to describe the map contains a large number of places including villages and country seats. The roads are all given distances according to John Ogilby’s ‘Britannia’. In addition to the county boundaries we also find those of dioceses, judge’s circuits and even those of the Anglo-Saxon Heptarchy. An interesting feature is the noting of the sites of naval battles around the coast. The map was engraved by John Harris whose imprint is found lower right.

The map was presented to the Duke of Gloucester to whom it was dedicated in July 1700 and advertised for sale the following month. The map was issued many times in the ensuing decades most often with some of the blank sheets omitted to reduce weight. It proved to be a popular travelling atlas which is why many examples are often creased or damaged. After Browne ceased trading in maps around 1712 the plates passed to Philip Overton and Thomas Bowles who first advertised it in 1717. Examples were also sold bound with the ‘English Gentleman’s Guide’ as here and ‘made portable either for Cloak-Bag, Portmanteau or Pocket’. Thomas Bowles (1695-1767) was in partnership with his brother John Bowles (c.1701-79) to whom the latter had been apprenticed.

The Explanation key bears the imprint ‘Printed for & Sold by Tho. Bowles, next to the Chapter house in St. Pauls Church Yard. & P. Overton over against St. Dunstans Church in Fleet Street’. The map bears the imprint of Overton & Thomas Bowles whilst the letterpress title bears the two Bowles’. Provenance: bookplate of Major Alfred Edward Lawson Lowe F. S. A., Shirenewton Hall, Monmouthshire, pasted inside front board. Hodson I App. I no. 2 & App. III; Ravenhill ‘Projections for the Large General Maps of Britain, 1583-1700’, in Imago Mundi 33 pp. 21-32, refer to p. 27-30; Shirley (1988) Browne 2 st. 6.
BROWNE, Christopher

The English Gentleman's Guide; or, a New and Compleat Book of Maps of all England and Wales

Thomas & John Bowles, London, 1700-[38]
Oblong quarto (235 x 260 mm.), nineteenth century half red calf, with gilt red calf label to upper board containing title. Blind ruled spine. Explanation pasted to blank leaf, double page letterpress title and eight sheets joined into four folding sections backed on fine linen.
Stock number: 1973


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