'BRITANNIA' by William Hole [Camden's 'Britannia' title page] c.1637

'BRITANNIA' by William Hole [Camden's 'Britannia' title page] c.1637
SKU: saho/brit/001

A very attractive early 17th Century map of Great Britain, surrounded with ornate imagery, which was engraved by William Hole for William Camden's Britannia** (London: 1607-1637). This is a highly unusual example of this map as it has been printed on exceptionally good paper for the time.

This map served as the title page to William Camden's great work, 'Britannia'. The island of Great Britain is contained in an ornate oval which is supported by Neptune and Ceres who symbolize the union of land and sea. Above the title, an early allegorical depiction of a seated Britannia is seen whereas beneath the God and Goddess, reference is made to the island's maritime tradition; its antiquity (with a quaint view of Stonehenge and the Roman bath in Bath) and to St. Paul's Cathedral in London (the original structure before it was rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren)..

**'Britannia', first published in 1586, was one of the most popular and influential books of the period. The work of the Elizabethan antiquarian, William Camden (1551-1623), it was a detailed historical and topographical description of Great Britain. Its patriotic sentiments, in particular, both appealed to and generated the growing sense of nationalism that was coursing through late Tudor / early Stuart society. Between 1607 and 1637, county maps engraved by William Kip and William Hole, and based largely on Saxton's surveys, were added. These maps have the distinction of being the first set to show each county individually as opposed to several being grouped together on one page. Camden's Britannia continued to be published well into the 19th century; from 1695 to 1772, county maps by Robert Morden were used, and from 1789 to c.1815, those by the renowned John Cary.

  • This is an original copperplate engraving with later hand colour.
  • Printed area is approximately 16.4cms by 26.5cms.
  • The map is in excellent condition for a frontispiece and has been printed on exceptional paper. There is light staining in the borders. Click on image for better view.
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  • Guaranteed to be over 375 years old.

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