Lot 3278
  • 3278

Seller, John, senior (c. 1630-1697).

2,000 - 3,000 GBP
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  • Scripture Geography. or a Booke of Mapps of all the Countreys and places Mentioned in the Old and New Testament. [London, c. 1690], illustration: engraved title, 17 maps and one double-page engraved text leaf (all cut out and pasted down to fit to size)
[Moxon, Joseph (1627-1700). Sacred Geographie. Or Scriptural Mapps. London: James Moxon [II], c. 1691], illustration: 6 double-page engraved maps (all laid down to fit to size)

2 works in one volume, folio (405 x 270mm.), binding: recent calf, spine gilt in compartments with red morocco label "Seller Scripture Geography"

Catalogue Note

A composite volume, combining Seller’s octavo geography of the Holy Land and the set of six double-page engraved maps from James Moxon’s edition of his father’s folio Sacred Geographie.

The collection of Seller maps is similar to that in the British Library’s copy, which are also cut to the engraved border and pasted into a scrapbook; the British Library has seventeen maps, with the addition of "Canaan as it was Divided into 31 Kingdomes before ye Possession therof by the Israelites". The Bodleian copy (Antiq. F X.9) contains 26 maps, omitting the map of "Libanon...", but with a suite of historical maps not present here or in the British Library copy.

Although undated, Seller’s Scripture Geography is not referred to in his catalogues from the mid-1680s, while the reference to him as John Seller Sr. (partially erased here) on the world map, suggests a date of engraving of c. 1690 when father and son were working together.

Moxon’s Sacred Geographie. Or Scriptural Mapps was first published in 1671, containing a set of six maps by Moxon after Nicolaas Visscher (I); the maps were intended to be sold as a separate volume, but were also advertised as "fit to be bound with Bibles", Moxon noting in his address to the reader in the Sacred Geographie "Here is offered thee for smal price the product of much Study and great Pains. The Dutch Protestant Ministery thought it a Work very necessary for Prottestants that may read the Bible to bind up with them, and therefore exposed these Mapps in their Vulgar Language, together with Explanations on each particular Mapp: And I for the same Reasons render you the same Mapps in the English Tongue, with apt Explanations on each of them".

The world map shows signs of being printed from an existing plate akin to Shirley 457, with the central, oval map area re-engraved to show companion celestial and terrestrial hemispheres on a north polar projection. This is the proof form, without dedication or imprint.

As present, Moxon’s maps correspond with those in the British Library’s Sacred Geographie 1671 (pressmark BL, Maps C.26.a.16), but apparently existing stock of the text with the paste-over title label of James Moxon, Joseph’s son, dated 1691, to whom the maps should be credited, notwithstanding their engraved credit to Joseph.

Each of the maps is in the earliest recorded state of (at least) three; the Bible maps were subsequently republished with the dedicatees altered, and then with the imprint of Philip Lea inserted, circa 1699.