John Rocque. “England and Wales Drawn from the Most Accurate
Surveys . . .” (London: Laurie & Whittle, No. 53 Fleet Street
as the Act directs, 12 May 1794 ). Maps 6 and 7 from Sayer’s General
Atlas of 1790. Four-sheet wall map, each “half” measuring 22 7/8 x 38 3/4" at neat line plus margins. Strong original outline hand color.
Fine laid paper with bold crown watermark clearly visible. Cartouche uncolored
as issued. Some minor transference, right margin close, very minor marginal wear.
Otherwise, excellent condition for a map this size.
This impressive large-scale
map was drawn by Rocque, an immigrant Huguenot who worked in London from 1735
to 1762. Not much is known about the early life of this surveyor, engraver and
publisher, even though he is mentioned in nearly every major scholarly work on
British maps of the period.
The map exemplifies the strong graphic presence of Rocque’s signature topographic
detail as well as an elaborate cartouche, here uncolored as issued. Rocque is
recognized as an innovator of the British town plan and a master of large-scale
cartographic style. The map of England and Wales was conceived during the high
point of the map maker’s career and seems to have been completed as a part
of a series of four-sheet British Isles maps. According to the reference literature,
examples of his large maps with all sheets intact are not common.
A wonderfully detailed four-sheet map with title contained within a large decorative
allegorical cartouche depicting the artistic, scientific, and commercial accomplishments
of the English. Abbeys and castles are duly noted. Small inset of the “Isles
of Scilly.” Tall ships sailing solo and as part of fleets decorate the seas
around the islands.