Folio (17 x 12 inches). Engraved allegorical frontispiece showing Queen Elizabeth as patroness of Astronomy and Geography attributed to Remy Hogenberg (laid-in), full-sheet engraved plate with 84 escutcheons facing a table of towns, 35 full-sheet engraved maps (one folding) after Saxton by Hogenberg, Lenaert Terwoort, Cornelis de Hooghe, Augustine Ryther, Francis Scatter, and Nicholas Reynolds, letterpress index of maps, the maps, frontispiece, and tables ALL IN FINE CONTEMPORARY HAND COLOR AND LAVISHLY HEIGHTENED WITH GILT AND ARGENT. FINE CONTEMPORARY ENGLISH CALF GILT BINDING BY JEHAN DE PLANCHE in "Lyonnese" style (i.e. Jehan de Planche II, possibly working in London from about 1567-72 and later). Number 16 in a group of 19 bindings recorded by Howard M. Nixon in 1970. Covers gilt-blocked with large arabesque cornerpieces and large central cartouche enclosing a rampant lion crest against a background of large gilt dots, plain endpapers, gilt edges, remains of green silk ties (expertly restored by James & Stuart Brockman Ltd., under the guidance of Stephen Massey). Provenance: Gilt crest supra libros of Sir Thomas Egerton, Baron Ellesmere and Viscount Brackley (1540?-1617), lord chancellor, barrister of Lincoln's Inn, 1572; probable gift of his third wife Alice Spencer's family, 17th-century inscription on the front paste-down; by descent through Egerton's daughter the Hon. Mary Egerton to Sir Richard Newdigate (1668-1727), with his engraved armorial bookplate on the verso of the frontispiece dated 1709; by descent to Sir Roger Newdigate (1719-1806) with his engraved armorial bookplate on the front paste-down; by descent to Sir Frances Newdigate-Newdegate, Arbury Hall, Warwickshire; Arbury Hall book-label sale, Sotheby's London, 23 January 1920 lot 289, purchased by G.D. Smith; G.D. Smith stock sale, Anderson Galleries, New York 11 November 1920, lot 290; unidentified owner sale, Sotheby's New York, June 26 1998, lot 602. THE FIRST PRINTED AND MOST IMPORTANT MAPS OF ANY ENGLISH OR WELSH COUNTY BY THE FATHER OF ENGLISH CARTOGRAPHY CHRISTOPHER SAXTON First edition. The frontispiece is in the usual second state (with the Queen's skirt displaying less elaborate jewellery and the folds falling naturally about her knees) with fifteen maps bearing Seckford's pre-1576 motto ("Pestis patriae pigricies"), and twenty his later motto ("Industria naturam ornate"), the index is in the fourth setting with a four-line heading and three columns, there are eighty-four numbered coats of arms, the last one painted in Argent and with manuscript name erased, all maps bear the lozenge of small circles watermark, known as the grapes watermark. IN A FINE BINDING BY JEHAN DE PLANCHE II, WITH THE EMBLAZONED CREST OF SIR THOMAS EGERTON (c.1540-1617), Lord Keeper and Lord Chancellor for Queen Elizabeth I and James I on the front cover. Egerton was the son of Sir Richard Egerton of Ridley Cheshire. He became a commoner at Oxford around his seventeenth year in 1556 at Brasenose College, Oxford. In 1559 he entered Lincoln's Inn and was called to the bar in 1572. By 1580 he was governor of the society, Lent reader in 1582 and treasurer in 1588. He had obtained great legal renown and a large practice by the time he argued a case against the Crown that gained the attention of Queen Elizabeth. She appointed him Solicitor-General June. With a partially obscured late 17th-century, early 18th-century anecdotal inscription on the front paste-down concerning a member of Sir Thomas Egerton's third wife's family, and other prominent Elizabethans: "Sir Gregory Spencer of Halifax . Robert. chancellor. of Halifax. Sir Francis Walsingham Knight". Egerton's third wife was Alice Spencer (1559-1637), literary patron, daughter of Sir John Spencer of Althorp, Northampton, and his wife, Katherine, and widow of Ferdinando Stanley, fifth earl of Derby, whom he had served as an adviser. They married in October 1600. She is credited with bringing a number of books to Egerton's li.
Offered at $750,000.