Oxonia Illustrata, sive Omnium Celeberrimae istius Universitatis Collegiorum, Aularum, Bibliothecae Bodleianae, Scholarum Publicarum, Theatri Sheldoniani, nec non Urbis Totius Scenographia

Method Copper engraving
Artist Loggan, David
Published Delineavit & Sculpsit Dav: Loggan Univ. Oxon, Chalcographus. Oxoniae, E Theatro Sheldoniano A.no D.ni M.DC.LXXV [Oxford, 1675]
Dimensions Folio. 435 x 315 mm
Notes First edition. Engraved title-page, dedication to Charles II, privilege leaf, preface leaf, double-page plan of Oxford and 39 copper plate views, 1 folding, 38 double-page, index of plates. Bound in 18th century tan polished calf, raised bands and gold tooling to spine, gold tooling to edges of boards.

A superb early printing of the first edition of Loggan's Oxonia Illustrata, the most important illustrated book on Oxford and one of the major works of the seventeenth century. The book was the product of several years of devoted and conscientious effort in which Loggan was assisted by his pupil Robert White.

David Loggan, artist and engraver, was born at Danzig in 1635. He may have learnt the art of engraving from Simon van den Passe in Denmark and from Hendrik Hondius in the Netherlands. Loggan followed Hondius's sons to England in about 1653 and by 1665 he was residing at Nuffield, near Oxford, and had made the acquaintance of Anthony Wood. On 30 March 1669 he was appointed Engraver to the University of Oxford, with an annual salary of twenty shillings. He married a daughter of Robert Jordan, Esq., of Kencote Hall in Oxfordshire, in 1671 and they had a son; John Loggan, who later graduated from Trinity College, the following year. The marriage probably produced another son, William Loggan, about whom little is known except that he was responsible for a satirical print of Father Peters and the Jesuits, published in 1681. David Loggan took up residence in Holywell in about 1671, prior to matriculating at the University. In 1675 he was naturalised as an Englishman.

Loggan's first work is thought to have been a book of twelve plates of academic robes entitled 'Reverendis... Doctoribus Academiæ Oxoniensis hæc omnium Ordinium [sic] Habituumque Academicorum exemplaria...' D.D. Georgius Edwards 1674. However, as no engraver's name appears on any of the plates the ascription is based only upon the style of the engravings. Further, Anthony Wood, who makes many references to Loggan in his diaries, does not mention this work at all. A set, without the title, can be seen in the Print Room at the British Museum.

In 1675 Loggan published the celebrated 'Oxonia Illustrata, sive Omnium Celeberrimæ istius Universitatis Collegoirum, Aularum, Bibliothecæ Bodleianæ, Scholarum Publicarum, Theatrum Sheldoniani; nec non Urbis Totius Scenographia'. This was printed at Leonard Lichfield's house in Holywell and not at the University Press housed in the Sheldonian Theatre. 'Oxonia Illustrata' contains forty plates: thirty-seven of the Colleges, Halls, various public buildings,including the Bodleian Library, two aspects of the Sheldonian Theatre, and a spectacular folding view of Christ Church on two copper-plates. The latter often results in the two parts not matching in either register or depth of impression, in this instance it is a near perfect impression of the plate. There is also a double prospect of the city (two of the earliest views of the city), a plate of the costume of the University and a superbly engraved plan of the city containing an extraordinary amount of accurate detail and with a numbered key to colleges, churches, and major buildings. The whole preceded by a fine pictorial and allegorical title-page which illustrated the view of the place of publication seen from the north. Each plate is printed on a double folio page (except the folding plate of Christ Church) showing the subject, a description of the subject and the relevant arms. The amount of accurate detail in these views, along with the problems of the perspectives used, indicates the skill and effort that went into Loggan's drawings. His Oxonia Illustrata was intended as a companion work to Historia Antiquitates Universitatis Oxoniensis by Anthony Wood, with whom Loggan had become acquainted some years earlier. The list of plates in the Index Tabularum in the Illustrata shows page references for binding into Wood's volumes and the work is sometimes found in this state. Indeed, the two books were often given together by the university to distinguished visitors.

Soon after the publication of 'Oxonia Illustrata' Loggan turned his attention to Cambridge, where he printed in 1676 Wren's design for the library of Trinity College. His next work was entitled 'Cantabrigia Illustrata, sive omnium Celeberrimæ istius Universitatis Collegiorum, Aularum, Bibliothecæ Academicæ, Scholarum Publicarum, Sacelli Coll: Regalis, nec non Totius Oppidi Ichnographia', a pendant to the 'Oxonia Illustrata' and comprising twenty-six views of Cambridge and its colleges, a plan of Cambridge, a view of Eton College, a plate containing two general views of Cambridge and a portrait of Charles, Duke of Somerset, Chancellor of the University.

George Vertue's diary [BM Add.MSS 23069)] records that, "one Kickers drew the views and drafts of the Colleges of Oxford for D. Loggan, and those of Cambridge in partnership with him, and they both went to Scotland and there he drew the views in 'Theatrum Scotiæ' [by Johan Slezer]." Vertue says also that Loggan's pupil, Robert White, assisted him in drawing many of the buildings. However this may be, the conscientious accuracy, as well as the artistic ability, which characterises Loggan's views, can hardly be sufficiently praised. "He enables one to walk into the quadrangles of the colleges, and discover their style of architecture. Every detail of the buildings, the courts, and the gardens is carefully noted, so that they present not merely a record of the architecture, but of the life of the period" (John Willis Clark, in DNB XII, p.89). A particular example, among many, is the view of Trinity College, with its record of the kitchen gardens, the gardener with his wheelbarrow and the dog curled up asleep in front of a house doorway. This, in addition to the sole record of the then dilapidated plain Perpendicular fifteenth-century Chapel of the College, prior to the rebuilding in the Classical style in 1691-1694.

Loggan was known as a portrait draughtsman who engraved many of his own works, such as those of Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon, General George Monck, Duke of Albemarle, Dr Isaac Barrow, and Archbishop Sancroft, to mention a few. Dryden, satirising vain poets wrote:

And in front of all his senseless plays
Makes David Loggan crown his head with bays.

Loggan also drew portraits on vellum with great delicacy, some of which are kept in the British Museum. He is not, however, known to have painted portraits.

Among other plates engraved by Loggan were illustrations to Dr Robert Morison's 'Plantarum Historia Universalis Oxoniensis pars secunda [-tertia]' (published in two volumes in 1680-1699, the first remaining unpublished). Loggan worked with Francis Barlow and William Faithorne and others on Morison's book. Loggan also engraved plates of the triumphal arches erected in London for the coronation of Charles II and two views of Stonehenge. According to Vertue, "The Picture of D. Loggan, Engraver, drawn on vellum with Black Lead [plumbago] by himself, ætat. 20, 1655," was in the possession of Michael Burghers, the Oxford engraver. David Loggan died at his house in Leicester Fields, London, at the end of the seventeenth century. Vertue gives the dates 1693 and 1700.

After Loggan's death the plates of the Oxford and Cambridge views were acquired by Overton who published sets of the Oxonia and Cantabrigia, without date [but probably in about 1705], at the White Horse without Newgate, London, with an English preface and with roman plate-numbers added to the plates. He also engraved two composite plates as large broadsheets with most of the Oxford and Cambridge views shown in a much reduced size.

Condition: Excellent clean crisp dark impressions of all plates, many of which still show signs of engraved guide lines and plate inking suggesting a very early printing. Small tear to bottom of central vertical fold of 'Hortus Botanicus,' 'Collegium Orielense,' and 'Collegium Aedis Christi.' Minor glue staining along join of sheets on 'Collegium Aedis Christi.' Small chip to top left corner of 'Aula Glocestrensis' not affecting plate. Binding strengthened at top. Boards scuffed.

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Framing Folio
Price £19,000.00
Stock ID 50799