Rare English map of America, which includes the earliest appearance of Philadelphia on a printed map.
Rare map of America by Lea & Overton, first issued in 1684. This is a map which owing to its scarcity has been largely overlooked and mis-catalogued by Tooley and McLaughlin. With thanks to the fine scholarship of Henry Taliaferro in his description of the Custin Atlas at Colonial Williamsburg, we now know that this map was offered for sale as early as 1684 and that in all probability, there are two states of the map, the later of the two adding an advertisement for maps of Africa, Asia and Europe, which are bound into the Custin Atlas but did not appear in Overton's 1684 catalogue of maps.
This is the earliest appearance of Philadelphia on a map. As noted by Taliaferro, because of the changing politics in England, the dedication to Henry Duke of Beaufort makes it highly unlikely that the map was published after 1689. The map is richly embellished with numerous sailing ships, coats of arms and two marvelous cartouches. The map appeared at the height of the initial boom in English interest in its New Colonies and reflects the addition of English nomenclature throughout the new British Colonies.
Philip Lea (fl. 1683-1700) was a central figure in the London map community at the end of the eighteenth century. He apprenticed under Robert Morden, with whom he later collaborated. Lea was made free of the Weavers Company in 1689. He was a publisher and a globe and instrument seller with ties to members of government. For example, Samuel Pepys lists him as his map advisor and colorist. He was not known primarily for his own original works, but for his reworking and reissuing of the work of others, particularly the county maps and world map of Christopher Saxton. He also acquired plates from John Seller, John Ogilby, and William Morgan, among others. Later in his career, he collaborated frequently with Herman Moll. After his death in 1700, Philip’s wife, Anne, carried on the business for several decades.