The first printed map of Radnor, Breconshire, Cardiganshire and Carmarthenshire
By SAXTON, Christopher, 1579
[Radnor, Breconshire, Cardiganshire and Carmarthenshire] Radnor Breknok Cardigan et Caermarden quatuor australis Cambriae comitatuum (B. Dehenbart. A. Southwales) descriptio. An. Dni. 1578
- Author: SAXTON, Christopher
- Publication place: London
- Publisher: Christopher Saxton
- Publication date: 1579.
- Physical description: Double-page engraved map, fine original hand-colour, contemporary annotation on verso in brown ink.
- Dimensions: 420 by 550mm. (16.5 by 21.75 inches).
- Inventory reference: 15371
In the upper left corner, a bold blue cartouche containing the names of the counties in Latin, is surmounted by the royal coat-of-arms, flanked by the English lion and Welsh dragon. In the lower corner, the Seckford family crest is accompanied by its later Latin motto, in honour of Saxton’s patron, Thomas Seckford. On the opposite side, a banner identifying Saxton as cartographer is wrapped around the map’s scale, which corresponds to the broad area surveyed in this map. Strangely, the name of the engraver is omitted, but it is likely to have been one of the small team of craftsmen identified on the other maps in Saxton’s ‘Atlas of England and Wales’. The decorative nature of these features, along with the map’s ornate outer-frame, bold colouring, and its illustrations of Elizabethan galleons at sea, all point towards its aesthetic value alongside its functional utility. Additionally, like all the maps in the atlas, this map bears Saxton’s watermark, a bunch of grapes, to identify the work as original.