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France from the Latest Authorities: Jefferys 1760

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  • Title: France from the Latest Authorities
  • Author: Thomas Jefferys
  • Date: 1760
  • Medium: Copperplate engraving
  • Condition: Very Good - light age toning, light foxing, vertical fold lines
  • Inches: 10 1/4 x 8 1/2 [Paper]
  • Centimeters: 26.04 x 21.59 [Paper]
  • Product ID: 100788

By the end of the eighteenth century, Britain had established itself as the world’s leading naval superpower, a development which went hand-in-hand with cartographic advancement. One of the cartographers who contributed to this phenomenon was Thomas Jefferys (c. 1719-1771), Royal Geographer to King George III. We know little of his background, save that he married in 1750 and seemed to identify primarily as an engraver, rather than as a geographer. In 1766 he went bankrupt, which gave publisher Robert Sayer the opportunity to purchase a large portion of Jefferys’ materials and plates. Following this setback, Jefferys did continue to publish maps in partnership with the younger William Faden.

Ironically, many of Jefferys’ maps which have proved lastingly significant, such as this one, were published by Sayer and his business partner John Bennett; this piece appeared four years after Jefferys’ death in their 1775 West India Atlas.