|Method||Copper engraved with hand colour|
|Published||Francis Lamb Sculp. London Printed for Ric. Blome, 1669|
|Dimensions||400 x 516 mm|
A map of the British Isles, based on the cartography of Nicholas Sanson, from the first edition of 'Britannia', Blome's larger series of county maps. Blome's maps are often much maligned, due to their generally sketchy cartography and often naive decorative work and lettering, however they do include all the elements expected from a seventeenth century British map, including elaborately decorated cartouches, scales in English miles, crests and coats of arms, as well as dedications. In this example, the title is enclosed in a cartouche of garlands and military ensigns, flanked by a pair of armoured soldiers, and topped by the Royal Crest. The dedication below reads 'To the most August Charles the 2d by the grace of God, King of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland, defendor of the Faith, &c. this Mapp with all humility is Concecrated by your Majesties Obedient Subject & Servant Ric. Blome.' In the top corner is an inset map of the Isles of Shetland. County borders and seacoasts are outlined in hand colour, and numerous sailing ships and sea monsters populate the seas around the Isles.
Richard Blome was one of the most active map-publishers of his day, working between about 1667 and 1705. His principal publications were the 'Geographical Description of the World', and two county atlases, the 'Britannia', published in 1673, and 'Speed's Maps Epitomiz'd', published in 1681. Blome first began engraving maps for his Geographical Description Of The Four Parts Of The World in 1667. The completed volume was in small folio, and contained 24 maps (plus one duplicated), engraved by Francis Lamb, Thomas Burnford, and Wenceslaus Hollar
Blome has been heavily criticised as a plagiarist, but he lacked the capital to be innovative (as indeed did virtually all his contemporaries), and his output filled an important gap in the market. The 'Geographical Description' was the first new, and uniformly assembled, folio world atlas to be published in London since 1627, while the next folio world atlases appeared in the decade 1710-1720.
Condition: Vertical and horizontal folds, as issued. Minor time toning and foxing to plate, particularly to folds. Old tear repair to left side of plate, across dedication and off the west coast of Ireland.