|Copper engraved with hand colour
|An.o Dmni 1578. Christophorus Saxton descripsit.
|330 x 482 mm
A superb impression of Christopher Saxton's seminal Elizabethan map of Glamorgan, in beautiful full wash colour. The county's villages, towns, and cities are picked out in red, mountains, forests, enclosures, and waterways are showed pictorially, and neighbouring counties are also washed in hand colour. Sailing ships ply the seas of the Glamorgan coast, concentrated around the Gower peninsula, and a sea monster surfaces in the waters west of Barry. The map is further embellished by a set of ornate strapwork cartouches. The Royal crest, above the title, is supported by a crowned lion and the Welsh dragon. A large mile scale is topped with a compass, and the arms of Saxton's patron, the Master of Requests Thomas Sackford, feature the motto Industria Naturam Ornat - 'Industry Adorns Nature.'
Christopher Saxton (c.1540 - c.1610) was a British estate surveyor and draughtsman, best known for his maps of English counties. Apprenticed to the cleric and cartographer John Rudd, Saxton developed the skills to become the man now known as 'the father of English cartography'. Under the patronage of Thomas Seckford, Saxton carried out an extensive topographical survey of England and Wales during the years 1573-1578. 34 county maps based on the surveys were engraved between 1574 and 1578 by Remy Hogenberg, Lenaert Terwoort, Cornelis de Hooghe, Augustine Ryther, Francis Scatte, and Nicholas Reynolds, forming the first atlas of England and Wales. The work was the basis for many later maps. The maps were issued by Saxton in untitled volumes from 1579, and subsequently reissued as The Shires of England and Wales, by William Web in 1645, by Philip Lea (with added maps) and in a French edition Atlas Anglois in 1693, by G Willdey in 1732, by T Jefferys in 1749, and finally as a wall map of England and Wales in 20 Sheets in c. 1770.
Condition: Central vertical fold, as issued. Minor time toning to margins. 'Bunch of Grapes' watermark. Manuscript title in old hand on verso, otherwise blank.