|Method||Copper engraved with early hand colour|
|Published||Factum est hoc opus An° Dni 1576 et D. Elyzabethe Reginae 18. Christophorus Saxton descripsit. Lenaert Terwoort Antverpianus sculpsit. [London, 1576]|
|Dimensions||365 x 485 mm|
A superb impression of Christopher Saxton's seminal Elizabethan map of Cornwall, in early full wash colour. The county's villages, towns, and cities are picked out in red, mountains, forests, enclosures, and waterways are showed pictorially, and the Hundreds are labelled geographically. The map is further embellished by a set of ornate strapwork cartouches. The royal dedication, in an oval, is surmounted by a trio of birds, while the Royal crest, above the title, is supported by a crowned lion and a gryphon. The underside of the title cartouche is festooned with attributes of the county's close connection to the sea, including tridents, turtles, fish, rays, eels, and shells. The seas themselves bustle with ships and sea monsters, while the arms of Saxton's patron, the Master of Requests Thomas Sackford, feature a motto more usually connected to the antiquarian Dugdale: Pestis Patriae Pegricies [Pigrities] - 'Indolence is the plague of the Nation.'
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. Repaired tear to top of central fold. Small repaired puncture and old adhesive stain to Royal dedication. Old adhesive stains to margins, not affecting map. Blank on verso.