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Bedford Comitatus

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Bedford Comitatus : C. Saxton / W. Kip

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An attractive and important early map of Bedfordshire. William Camden's great historical description of the British Isles "Britannia" first appeared in 1586. Originally lacking any maps it was decided that, for the edition of 1607, maps, copied mainly from Christopher Saxton's and John Norden's recent work, would be re-engraved by William Kip and William Hole. Saxton's atlas of 1579 had been the first of English and Welsh county maps but had shown many groups of counties together; the maps for "Britannia", well engraved, clearly detailed, and with elegant flourishes to the typography, thus constitute the first detailed atlas of maps of each county of England and Wales. The original maps of Saxton and, around 1600, Norden are rare and, consequently, expensive. These attractive versions represent fine and important examples of early English cartography. This issue of "Britannia" appears in three editions with maps - in the first, of 1607, the maps have text on the reverse (which is frequently visible through the map); maps of the second, 1610, lack the text; the third, 1637, as here, lacks text and the maps have small engraved plate numbers in the lower left corner.
region: Bedfordshire
mapmakers: C. Saxton   W. Kip  
place and date of publication: London 1607-1637
medium and colour: copperplate, Coloured
size in mm: 270 by 330mm (10.75 by 13 inches).
ref: 41136

Price: £ 220£ 132

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