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A panorama of 17th century London

Stock No. 17907 Category: Tags: , , , Cartographer: HOLLAR, Wenceslaus.

Melbourne, G.J.Browne, 1879. Lithograph. Five sheets conjoined, total 485 x 2250mm, laid on linen.


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A rare Australian edition of Hollar's famous pre-Fire prospect of London, originally published by Danckerts in Amsterdam in 1647. It is a perspective view, drawn as if the viewer was in the tower of St. Mary Overy in Southwark, with an impressive amount of detail: Inigo Jones' alterations to the south transept of St. Paul's are shown, despite only being finished 1642; there are examples of the different types of boats using the river above and below London Bridge (still with buildings across it); and the Globe and the bear-baiting ring can be seen in Southwark. However their names have been transposed, the mistake made probably because both had been closed by the Puritan Parliament of 1642.
The title is above the panorama in a decorative cartouche, with Mercury and other a figures filling the skies. Putti, one of whom is trying to ride an ostrich, represent some of London's commercial interests abroad.
Hollar started work on the original in London, but completed it in Antwerp: he had to flee England because his Royalist sympathies put him at risk during the Civil War, although he was able to return in 1652. This edition has the original dedication to Henrietta Maria, queen of Charles I, within a cartouche depicting Britannia, which was omitted from printings after the Civil War.
This example was printed by Hamel & Ferguson of 85 Queen Street, Melborne, who were in business between 1864-89. it is unlikely to have been a commercial product but rather a promotional item designed to show the abilities of this colonial publisher and printer, Other than their imprint, the only detail the publishers have added is the geometric border around the view.

Additional information

Dimensions 2250 × 485 mm



Extra Info



Melbourne, G.J.Browne, 1879. Lithograph. Five sheets conjoined, total 485 x 2250mm, laid on linen.


Minor restoration to folds.


HOWGEGO: p.8, 'the most accurate of the pre-Fire panoramas of London'.