The first printed map of Hertfordshire
By SAXTON, Christopher, 1579
[Hertfordshire] Hartfordiae Comitatus nova, vera ac particularis descriptio. Anno Dni. 1577
- Author: SAXTON, Christopher
- Publication place: London
- Publisher: Christopher Saxton
- Publication date: 1579.
- Physical description: Double-page engraved map, fine original hand-colour in outline, contemporary annotation on verso in brown ink.
- Dimensions: 420 by 550mm. (16.5 by 21.75 inches).
- Inventory reference: 15346
On the left side of the map, an intricate cartouche in bold blue colouring contains the county name in Latin, and is surmounted by the royal coat-of-arms, as found on all of Saxton’s maps. Similarly, the heraldic crest of the Seckford family is found in the lower right corner, along with its later Latin motto, as a tribute to courtier Thomas Seckford, who is thought to have financed the production of the atlas. The opposite lower corner contains the map’s scale, around which is woven a banner identifying Saxton as the cartographer, and Nicholaus Reynold as the engraver. Such banners, found on many of his maps, attest to the craftsmanship of a team of English and Flemish engravers, who produced the copper plates with which the maps were printed. Additionally, like all the maps in Saxton’s ‘Atlas of England and Wales’, this map bears his watermark, a bunch of grapes, to identify the work as original.