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Globe, Alexander. Peter Stent, London Printseller, circa 1642-1665: Being a catalogue raisonne of his engraved prints and books with an historical and bibliographical introduction. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 1985. ISBN 0-7748-0221-9. 28x21cm., xx, 256pp., plus plates at end with 315 illustrations, cloth. (303-6344 Memorial Rd., Vancouver, BC V6N 3H4, $60.00)

For many years the world of antique maps has been dominated by Dutchophilic elements who paid scant attention to mapmakers of English, German, French, Spanish, and other nationalities.  That oversight seems to be disappearing in recent years, and this book is a welcome addition to the trend.  Stent was a fairly prominent London printseller who may be vaguely familiar to some map collectors.  His maps are all exceedingly rare, seldom appearing on today's market.  For those interested in the early English map trade, this book is essential.  Stent sold hundreds of different prints, including about 62 maps.  Most intriguing is a possible map of New England printed from two plates.  Although advertised in 1653, no copies appear to have survived.  The advertisement is a bit ambiguous, unfortunately, and it might merely refer to a new map of England.  The book contains all sorts of indexes, transcribed advertisements, essays, capsule biographies of contemporary London printsellers, and even an index by dimension.  Murphy's law of book reviewing states that if the reviewer knows only one fact about the subject, that will be where the book is in error.  The author lists a double-hemisphere world map by Overton (the frontispiece of the 1985 Price-Record) as being the third state of a Stent map.  I was able to compare that map side-by-side with the Stent version, and the Overton version is a completely new plate.  This may have a bearing on other prints known in both Stent and Overton versions.  Perhaps some of Stent's plates were lost or destroyed, forcing Overton to reengrave plates from surviving paper copies.  It might be interesting to compare some of the other Stent and Overton versions to see if they were really printed from the same plate.  This monumental, scholarly work by Professor Globe belongs in the library of anyone with an interest in English maps.

David C. Jolly, 1987
 

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