Friday, 18 November 2011

Old Maps of Oxfordshire

The county of Oxfordshire and the city of Oxford are well recorded by the map makers of the 18th and 19th century.  Variations in style by the cartographers, engravers and artists enrich the depiction of old maps of old maps of Oxfordshire.

Robert Morden's old map of Oxfordshire was initially produced in the latter part of the 17th century and appeared in a number of subsequent 18th century editions.  It has a pleasing clarity and  a characteristic decorative title cartouche.

Old map of Oxfordshire by Robert Morden circa 1753

Another 100 years on and print making was revolutionised by the introduction of mild steel which replaced the much more expensive copper as a material for engraving.  This is illustrated in the old map of Oxfordshire by Archibald Fullarton.  A much smaller map than that of Robert Morden, iit benefits from the fine lines and detail of steel plate engraving and includes an attractive vignette of the city of Oxford.

19th century old map of Oxfordshire by Archibald Fullarton

Shortly after Fullarton produced his maps, Thomas Moule produced the last decorative atlas depicting the English Counties.  Moule was especially interested on heraldry, and consequently his county maps were decorated with many of the relevant coats of arms relating to each county and their prominent families.  Moule's maps were mainly produced by two engravers, John Dower and W. Schmollenger.

19th century map of Oxfordshire by Moule dated circa 1850

 Thomas Moule's Maps were included in many publication,s including Moule's English County Maps and Barclay's English Dictionary. Not only did these beautiful maps benefit from the introduction of  heraldic elements, the engravers embellished them with highly decorative borders and related topographical vignettes.

Original 19th century old city map of Oxford by Moule c.1850

Within each publication was also a  selection of antique city maps and old town plans. These plans benefited from even more heraldic content as well as detailed street plans with significant buildings also annotated.  A good example of this is the old map of Oxford by Moule, with no fewer than 15 coats of arms ant two vignettes of Oxford.

See all our antiquarian maps online here

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