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Le Clerc's Rare Map of England Annotated in a Contemporary Hand

Fine example of first state of Le Clerc's rare map of England and Wales, based upon the earlier maps of Christopher Saxton and Jan Baptiste Vrient.

This very handsome work is based on Christopher Saxton's pioneering survey of England and Wales, and is one of the rarest maps of England

Jean Le Clerc was an engraver, bookseller and publisher who spent a number of years in Tours before moving to Paris sometime around 1594.

While based upon Saxton and crediting Saxton at the right side of the map, Le-Clerc has copied the Vrients-Saxton map of 1603.  It replicates Saxton's map of England of 1579 in a beautifully engraved style. A naval battle is taking place off the Cornish coast.

The map is often found in poor condition but here is in fine condition. 

Christopher Saxton

In the 1570s, Lord Burghley, the chief minister to Queen Elizabeth I, commissioned Christopher Saxton to conduct the first systematic survey of each of the counties of England and Wales. The result was the publication of Saxton's magnificent Atlas of England and Wales (1579), which included his groundbreaking national map Anglia. It took some time for the leading Continental map publishers to recognize the superior nature of Saxton's work. 

Kelly "Maps of the British isles, England and Wales, and Ireland", in Mappae Antiquae Liber Amicorum Gunter Schilder pp. 228-33; Loeb-Larocque "Ces Hollandaises habillees a Paris ou L'exploitation de la cartographie hollandaise par les editeurs parisiens au XVIIe siecle", in "Theatrum Orbis Librorum. Liber Amicorum presented to Nico Israel" pp. 16-17; Pastoureau Le Clerc; Shirley 271.
Jean Le Clerc Biography
Jean Le Clerc

Jean Le Clerc was an engraver, bookseller and publisher in Paris and Tours. Le Clerc may have worked with Maurice Bouguereau in the production of the Theatre Francois in 1594, as he subsequently used the plates to republish the Atlas in 1620 under the title Theatre Geographique du Royaume de France. In addition to the maps of France, the atlas included a World Map, originally engraved by Jodocus Hondius in 1608 copied from Mercator's twin hemisphere map of 1595. He also issued in 1602 maps of Africa, America, Asia and Europe, engraved by Jodocus Hondius. The map of America, which is dated 1589, but unknown in any editions earlier than the one issued by Le Clerc in 1602, is a map of considerable rarity, which some believe may pre-date Ortelius’ Maris Pacifici as the first printed map to focus on the Pacific Ocean.