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Christopher & John Greenwood: A Map of the County of Devon

Map: DEVON566
Cartographer: Christopher & John Greenwood
Title: A Map of the County of Devon
Date: 1827
Published: London
Width: 75 inches / 191 cm
Height: 75 inches / 191 cm
Map ref: DEVON566
Separately issued folding wall map of Devon on three sheets. The lower right corner bears a large vignette of Exeter Cathedral.

This is part of the series of extraordinary wall maps of English counties by the Greenwood brothers. Based on new, exhaustive surveys and engraved and hand coloured in a uniform way, they were luxurious objects marketed to the newly wealthy Georgian public. The whole project was initiated in 1817 and by 1831, the brothers had completed surveys and published 34 counties.

The whole process and quality of the engraving and colouring was the height of luxury for county maps of the age and spawned multiple competitors such as Henry Teesdale and Andrew Bryant. Sadly, probably due to the competition and the use of new surveys, the project was not a financial success and was not finished.

Even by the standards of the Greenwood surveys, this map of Devon is among the largest of the series. Usually published in three separate vertical sheets, the whole map is approximately 75 x 75 inches (1900 x 1900mm). It is unknown why the Greenwoods devoted such a huge map to Devon but it could either be due to the size of the county or its wealth, with a belief that bigger is better and more likely to attract prestigious clients with large mansions.

The final result is quite magnificent.

Three sheets. Original colour. Hardback case included. Folded. [DEVON566]