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Old Masters, Allegory, Art & Science, Astronomy, Gentleman’s Recreation, Richard Blome, Antique Prints, London, 1680s


G. Freman (after)
Johannes Kip (1653-1722)
Richard Blome (1635-1705) (author)
Book.2. Part.4. Chap. 7 (Three Men Using Globes)
Book 1, Part. 5. Chap 17 (Four Men Observing Comet)

London: c. 1685-94
Copperplate engravings, uncolored
13 x 8.5 inches, sheet
11 x 6 inches, image
$475 each

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The globes engraving shows three scholars dressed in long robes studying globes and maps. An armillary sphere rests on the floor. There is a blank box for dedication, instead bearing manuscript notes: “The Globe and Sphere of the Earth and Heavens” and “of the globe of Earth.” The comet engraving shows four astronomers on an outdoor stone patio observing the trail of a comet, one looking through a telescope. Scattered around them are a globe, an astrolabe, a celestial map and various measuring devices. Below the image is a coat of arms flanked by a dedication by Blome to his patron Andrew Lant, of the country house Thorp-underwood. The prints are on a similar format and size to those published by Blome in The Gentleman’s Recreation, which included sections on Cosmography and Astronomy, Astrology, Geography, and Navigation, and could be from that work.

Place Description Continues Below


Comet print dedication reads: “To the Worshipfull Andrew Lant of Thorpunderwood in the County of Northampton. This plate is humbly Dedicated by Richard Blome.”

Richard Blome was among the most active publishers of cartographic and illustrated books in late 17th and early 18th 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 The Gentleman’s Recreation, The History of The Old Testament and a three-volume translation of the works of French philosopher Rene Descartes.

Johannes Kip was a Dutch draftsman, engraver and dealer, active in England. He mainly engraved book illustrations. His work brought him into contact with the court of William of Orange and in 1688 he followed the court to England. After settling in Westminster, he worked extensively for London publishers, engraving works after several London-based artists. The work for which Kip is best remembered are his extensive series of topographical engravings of country mansions, which were published first in 1708 as Britannia Illustrata and was one of the most important English topographical books of the 18th century.

Condition: Generally very good, with the usual light toning, soiling, soft creases, marginal foxing and dampstain.


Baynton-Williams, Ashley. “Richard Blome.” Issue 9. (3 June 2002).

Harris, Andrew. “The Vernons of Hanbury Hall.”  Dodderhill Parish Survey Project. 2007. (22 June 2010).

Harting, James Edmund. Bibliotheca Accipitraria. A Catalogue of Books Ancient & Modern Relating to Falconry. 1891. Reprint ed. Mansfield Center, CT: Martino Publishing, 2000. pp. 30-31.

“Johannes Kip.” The Grove Dictionary of Art. New York: Macmillan. 2000. (3 June 2002).

Schwerdt, Charles Francis George Richard. Hunting, Hawking, Shooting Illustrated in A Catalogue of Books, Manuscripts, Prints, and Drawings Collected by C.G.F.R. Schwerdt. Vol 1. 1928-1937. Reprint ed. Mansfield Center, CT: Martino Publishing, 1996. p. 72.

Additional information


17th Century