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Creator:
Saxton, Christopher, 1542?-
Title(s):

[Atlas of the counties of England and Wales].

Published/Created:
[London] : [s.n.], [1579]
Physical Description:
1 atlas ([1] leaf, [71] leaves of plates) : 35 maps, port. ; 42 cm. (fol.)
Holdings:
Rare Books and Manuscripts
Folio A 2011 11
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Accessible by request in the Study Room [Request]
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Copyright Status:
Copyright Information
Classification:
Maps & Atlas (printed)
Scale:
Scales differ.
Notes:
Consists of 1 map of England and Wales, 34 maps of all the counties of England and Wales, a frontispiece portrait of Elizabeth I (engraved by Remy Hogenberg), and a letterpress index leaf.
The work is the earliest national atlas produced by any country. Its general map of England and Wales is the earliest map of the two countries printed in Britain.
The maps were drawn by Christopher Saxton and engraved (from 1574 to 1578) by RemyHogenberg (9 maps), Lenaert Terwoort (5 maps), Augustine Ryther (4 maps), Francis Scatter (2 maps), Cornelis de Hooghe (1 map), Nicholas Reynolds (1 map), and Johannes Rutlinger (1 map). 11 of the maps are unsigned.
Title and imprint from STC.
Maps are dated 1574-1579.
Preliminary leaf with portrait of Elizabeth exists in 2 states: state 1) her dress is stretched square between the knees; state 2) her dress falls in folds between the knees. For a fuller description of the plates see Hind and Skelton. It has been conjectured that the queen was dissatisfied with her portrayal and suggested the changes in her costume.
STC (2nd ed.), 21805.1
ESTC S95054
Skelton, R.A. County atlases of the British Isles, 1579-1850, 1
Hind, A.M. Engraving in England in the sixteenth & seventeenth centuries (1952), p. 73, 88-103
Chubb, T. Printed maps (1927), p. 3-6
Shirley, R.W. Early printed maps of the British Isles, 128
Fairman, E. "'Wherin all trauailers may vnderstand how to direct their voyages': Maps and Atlases at the Yale Center for British Art from the Bequest of Paul Mellon." In Yale University Library Gazette, 75 (2001), pages 130-134
Selected exhibitions: "Paul Mellon's Legacy: A Passion for British Art" (Yale Center for British Art, 18 April-29 July, 2007); "The Mapmaker's art: 300 years of British cartography" (Yale Center for British Art, January 17-March 12, 1989).
BAC: British Art Center copy has hand-colored maps. The frontispiece portrait of Elizabeth is the first state (and uncolored), showing Elizabeth's dress with heavy ornamentation and a hard horizontal line across her lap. Index of maps is in the form described by Skelton as "Setting B", by Hind as "First setting"; i.e., the first line-ending reads: VOLVMINE. Maps of Northamptonshire and Norfolk are in the first state (see Skelton). Bound in full calf, with silk ties. With the bookplates of Hermann Marx and Henry Yates Thompson, the latter including Yates Thompson's price cipher (ya.e.e = £34.0.0). The copy was sold by the executors of Mrs. Yates Thompson's estate at Sotheby's on 19th August 1941 (lot no. 507) to the bookseller Maggs.
BAC: British Art Center copy also formerly owned by Mildmay Fane, 2nd Earl of Westmorland (1602-1666). A large engraved portrait of Fane, engraved by P. Williamson, 1662, is bound in at front. The copy includes three instances of autograph verse by Fane, along with Fane's brief notes on the nobility of all the counties, dated circa 1658. Two of three verses by Fane are previously unknown. In one, he describes the Saxton atlas as a place "Wherein All Trauailers may vnderstand / How to direct their Voyages by Land." (Cf. Cain, Tom. The poetry of Mildmay Fane. Manchester University Press, 2001).
Subject Terms:
Elizabeth I, Queen of England, 1533-1603 -- Portraits.
England -- Maps -- Early works to 1800.
Marx, Hermann -- Bookplate.
Thompson, Henry Yates, 1838-1928 -- Bookplate.
Wales -- Maps -- Early works to 1800.
Westmorland, Mildmay Fane, Earl of, 1601-1666 -- Provenance.
Form/Genre:
Atlases -- England -- 1579.
Atlases -- Wales -- 1579.
Engravings -- 1579.
Engravings -- Hand-colored -- 1579.
Contributors:
Seckford, Thomas, 1515 or 6-1587.
Hogenberg, Remy, 1536-1587, engraver.
Hooghe, Cornelis de, d. 1583, engraver.
Reynold, Nicholas, fl. 1580, engraver.
Rutlinger, Johannes, d. 1609, engraver.
Ryther, Augustine, engraver.
Scatter, Francis, engraver.
Terwoort, Lenaert, engraver.
Westmorland, Mildmay Fane, Earl of, 1601-1666.
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