One of the most attractive maps of Oxfordshire ever made is Joan Blaeu’s 1645 Oxonium Comitatus Vulgo Oxford shire (Oxford County commonly known as Oxfordshire). The map contains a great deal of topographic detail, mostly based on John Speed’s early-1600s Oxfordshire map; twenty coats of arms, and a title cartouche.
Two panels on Blaeu’s map, with eight shields each, contain the coats of arms of the colleges at the University of Oxford, beginning with University College in the top left corner, and ending with Jesus College on the bottom right. At the time the map was created, it was commonly believed that University College was founded in 872 by Alfred the Great. Therefore, Blaeu placed King Alfred’s coat of arms prominently on the map (and adjacent to University College), as “the insignia of the founder of Oxford University”. Symmetrically placed on the opposite side of the layout appear the Arms of the University of Oxford — an open book and three golden crowns on azure field. The words on the book, “Dominus Illuminatio Mea” are missing from Blaeu’s engraving, as the motto has not been universally used over the centuries. The title cartouche contains a stone tablet, inscribed: “Oxonivm Comitatus, Vulgo Oxford shire”, flanked by two Oxford scholars. The scale segment on the bottom explains that, Milliaria Anglica Quorum Quatuor uni Germanico respondent (Four English miles correspond to one German mile). The Royal Arms of Charles I of England, bearing the motto “Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense”, are centrally placed at the top of the map. The twentieth crest is the principal coat of arms of the De Vere family, bearing the motto “Vere Comes Oxony” (Vere [True] Earl of Oxford). De Vere were the hereditary Earls of Oxford until 1703. A variation of their family arms was known to bear the motto: “Vero Nihil Verius” (The truth and nothing but the truth).
• 17th-century map of Oxfordshire, England, with coats of arms of the University of Oxford
• Title: Oxonivm (Oxonium) Comitatus, Vulgo Oxford shire, 1645, Joan Blaeu
• Fine Art Premium Giclée (Gouttelette) Print (100% cotton 340 gsm fine art paper)
• Made in USA
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