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

The Mapping of North America

Mr. Philip D. Burden‚Äč
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A good example of Plot’s ‘Staffordshire’ with an excellent example of the map in its second state. Robert Plot (1640-96) was the first keeper of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford and official historiographer to James II. Following the success of Plot’s first published work, the ‘Natural History of Oxford’, published in Oxford in 1677 he issued this work on Staffordshire. It has been described as being better written than that of Oxfordshire. Both were accompanied by large and extremely attractive maps of the counties. The map of Staffordshire is by Gregory King (1648-1712), engraved by Joseph Browne (fl.1678-82) and dated 1682. King (1648-1712) from Lichfield was a surveyor, draughtsman and engraver, who went to London in 1672. There, through the great engraver Wenceslaus Hollar, he met John Ogilby and helped produce many of the road strips for his ‘Britannia’ in 1675. It is known from his autobiography that he had worked on a map of the county early on. It is an extremely ornate map decorated by numerous coats of arms of the subscribers. This is an example of the second state of five known, issued just before roads were added. It is a very fine dark engraving on thick paper. Of the engraved plates by Michael Burghers (1647?-1727) twenty-six are double page images of county seats or towns. They are very attractive, often including scenes of life in the foreground. Burghers was a native of Holland and settled in Oxford by 1673.

It is also an important work on Freemasonry. Plot was a secretary of the Royal Society and friends of both Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn, through whom he met Elias Ashmole. In this work he describes at length the Society of Freemasons and describes how it is ‘spread over the nation …’. This work carries even more weight when one bears in mind he was not a mason himself. Provenance: private English collection. Anderson (1881) p. 257; ESTC R21986; King (1988) pp. 25 & 66-8; Tooley (1999-2004); Upcott (1968) 1172-1174; Worms & Baynton-Williams (2011).
PLOT, Robert

The Natural History of Staffordshire By Robert Plot. LLD. Keeper of the Ashmolean Museum And Professor of Chymistry in the University of Oxford

Oxford, 1686
Quarto (315 x 195 mm.), full early contemporary calf, ornate blind panelled boards, spine rebacked with raised bands, gilt ruled compartments with gilt titles, later endpapers. With typographic title page with engraved vignette of Minerva seated, a view of the Theatre in the background, pp. (16), 450, (10), comprising Dedication, Preface, James the Second, Verses, Directions to the Map, text, Index, with large folding map in excellent condition printed on thick paper and 37 engraved plates (26 double page). With the uncorrected mistake in pagination of p. 5 for p. 3, title and plate at p. 39 with small paper repairs lower margin, otherwise in good condition.
Stock number: 10722
£ 1,850
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