74. Oxfordshire

Method Copper engraving
Artist George Bickham
Published [G. Bickham, London, c.1796]
Dimensions Image 250 x 135 mm, Plate 260 x 155 mm, Sheet 320 x 194 mm
Notes A vignette of the rivers and the Arms of the City of Oxford, as well as descriptive text about the county, from George Bickham's 'The British Monarchy or a Chorographical Description of all the Dominions Subject to the King of Great Britain'. The vignette shows a small pedestrian bridge over either the Isis or the Cherwell, with a punt in the foreground and a number of ruined buildings to the right. The view remains unidentified, but may be one of the many small bridges the spanned the branches of the Isis near Osney and the old Black Friars, or may simply be an inspired fiction. The text below the image describes the location of Oxfordshire, the quality of the air and soil, the principal manufactures, industry, and agriculture, the principal rivers, and its Parliamentary representatives.

Bickham's The British Monarchy was published between 1743 and 1754. The rather unconventional county atlas featured a series of maps which placed the viewer in a fictitious vantage point, often set within a rustic, pastoral setting, whilst looking over each county, with names of various towns and cities noted in the distance. The atlas was begun as a part-work publication with each plate dated when published, but was not offered complete until 1755. The first state of the maps has a date engraved whereas the second edition of 1796 lacks both this date and the text below.

George Bickham the Elder (1683/84 - 1758) was a British writer, draughtsman, ornamental engraver, illustrator and publisher, notably of 'The Universal Penman', issued in 52 parts from 1733 to 1748, a joint work with his son George and with John Bickham (perhaps his father, otherwise a son or brother). It contained examples of calligraphy by 25 writing-masters on 212 folio copperplates. His other famous work was the unusual county atlas, The British Monarchy, which contained 43 topographical maps of England and Wales. His work is often indistinguishable from his son, George Bickham the Younger.

Condition: Minor time toning to edges of sheet.
Framing unmounted
Price £50.00
Stock ID 49926