Cosmgraphy and Astrology, 1686 by Richard Blome from the First Edition



Cosmography & Astrology Large oval engraved plate with inscriptions outlining the various parts of cosmography and astronomy; below, two emblematic figures with scientific instruments either side. Lettered with title, dedication, and various inscriptions. To his Excellency Roger Palmer, Earle of Castelmain and Baron of Limerick in Ireland, Embassador Extraordinary from his majesty King James II to his Holyness Pope Innocent 11th anno dom 1686. This plate is humbly DD by Richard Blome. On paper and retaining its original coloring.

Sheet width 26 ½ cm., 10 ½ in., height 41 ½ cm., 16 ½ in., In a part-gilded Sansovino frame, carved with moons and suns Frame Length 43 cm., 17 in., Height 58 cm., 23 in.

This engraving is an illustration from the first part of the first edition of The Gentleman's Recreation, published by S. Roycroft in 1686, which was Blome's best known work outside the realm of cartography and includes some of the earliest published illustrations of a globe and aspects of cosmography & astrology.

Literature: Related to : Engraving 1847,0306.275 in the British Museum, Department of Prints & Drawings, acquired in 1847

The Gentleman's Recreations In Three Parts was comprised of First Part: Introduction to the Liberal Arts, Second Part: Of Horsemanship, Hawking, Hunting.Fowling, Fishing, etc. and Third Part: Laws of the Forest and Game. The first part has 31 plates illustrating liberal arts subjects, 19 of which were oval plates with tables in the center and decorative borders depicting people engaged in activities such as Rhetoric, Logic, Astronomy, Astrology, Cosmography, Navigation and Geography. The second part includes 50 copperplate engravings on horses and different types of hunting activities, including shooting, fishing and falconry.

Richard Blome was among the most active publishers of cartographic and illustrated books in late 17th century London. He was the first publisher in England for 40 years to prepare a new folio world atlas, the first in over 60 years to publish a new set of folio county maps, the first to seriously plan an illustrated description of London, and the first to plan a series of volumes related to the various world continents. In the 1680s, Blome issued some illustrated books, including The Gentleman's Recreation, The History of The Old Testament and a three-volume translation of the works of French philosopher Rene Descartes.

Blome included fortification in his vast compendium of the arts and sciences recommended to the English gentleman, and he had the relevant section written by George Leslie. A variety of alternative methods and systems are presented, indicating different authorities and traditions of practice within the developing domain of fortification.

Signed/Inscribed: 1686.

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Height 41.5 cm / 16 12"
Width 26.5 cm / 10 12"
Depth 0.1 cm / "

17th Century







Collectors / Designers



Charles II (Of the period)