|Published||[Oxford, 1732 - 33]|
|Dimensions||Folio. 530 x 400 mm|
First edition. Engraved title-page, dedication, 63 double-page or folding copper-plate engravings and maps, index of plates and list of subscribers. Bound in modern, J & S Brockman Binders, mottled calf binding, with blind ruled panel design and gilt-stamped fleurons to corners. Backstrip in seven compartments with raised bands, gold tooling and gilt lettered on red label in second compartment.
A fine copy of the first, and only, edition of Williams' 'Oxonia Depicta', the rarest and most comprehensive survey of Oxford and its University in the eighteenth century. This monumental and important work delineates the city and the colleges in 1733, indeed in many instances this is the only visual record of these buildings at this time in their history.
Williams was an architectural draughtsman and this is reflected in the title-page and in the formality of many of the engravings in his 'Oxonia Depicta'. The contents of the work are similar to those in Loggan's 'Oxonia Illustrata' published over fifty years earlier, commencing with a double-prospect of the city of Oxford each containing a numbered key, a plan of the city after Agas' plan of 1588, known only by the fragmented copy in the Bodleian Library, and a contemporary plan of the city engraved by W. H. Toms after Williams. The latter plan is very detailed and includes two numbered keys to all the colleges, churches, and major buildings. It is also the last of the south-at-top orientated maps of the city of Oxford, providing a clear and detailed depiction of the city's growth in the eighteenth century. There is a double-prospect of the interior of the Bodleian Library after Loggan, a plan of the Botanical Gardens, and a number of architectural elevations and plans of the college facades, quads, and gardens engraved by J. Stuart, W. Thorpe, W. H. Toms, and Williams himself. More importantly the work includes ten fine large engravings of the colleges of Magdalen, Corpus, Wadham, St. John's, Queens, New, Oriel, Trinity, Pembroke and Brasenose that show them in all their splendour at the beginning of the eighteenth century. The most impressive plate, however, is the spectacular 1220 mm long folding-plate depicting a composite view, with a numbered key, of the Clarendon Building, the Schools Building and the Sheldonian Theatre, accompanied by procession of figures in University dress, heraldry of illustrious people including John Selden and Kenelm Digby, and flanked by elevations of the Bodleian Library, St. Mary's Church, and the front of the Sheldonian Theatre.
Clary 267, Cordeaux & Merry (Univ.) 293.
Condition: Excellent clean impressions with full margins on large guards. Red crayon page numbers in middle of sheets on versos. Small repaired tear to top of title page. Light creasing to dedication page. Repaired tear and reinstated bottom margin to left sheet of large fold-out plate. Occasional light scuffs to boards.
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