|Method||Copper engraved with hand colour|
|Dimensions||233 x 145 mm|
A curious bird's eye view map of Oxfordshire, from George Bickham's 'The British Monarchy or a Chorographical Description of all the Dominions Subject to the King of Great Britain'. The map shows a pictorial representation of the county, with the place names of principal towns superimposed, and is decorated with classical and rustic vignettes typifying the county. Among the towns included in the view are Wallingford, Abingdon, Bampton, Woodstock, Islip, Bicester, Banbury, Charlbury, and Chipping Norton.
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: Trimmed within plate mark, re-margined on right side, glue residue to verso.