Engraving (178 x 98 mm), trimmed to edge of printed surface, possibly used as a trade card, a little faint brown spotting to top.
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An attractive piece of ephemera, advertising Robert Sayer’s publishing and print-selling business. It shows at the top left corner a double-page spread from one of Robert Morris’ books on architecture, possibly Select Architecture or Architecture Improved, both published by Sayer in 1755. Below are prints after Van Dyke and Mercier and part of a map of England.
Robert Sayer was trading at the Golden Buck on Fleet Street from December 1748; in around 1766 the street was numbered, and his imprint thereafter generally reads ‘No. 53 in Fleet Street’. The present plate was used as a frontispiece or additional title-page for Sayer’s New and enlarged Catalogue for 1766 (as illustrated in Antony Griffiths’ Checklist), but may have been originally produced before this date, for an earlier catalogue, as a stand-alone advertisement or as a trade-card – Morris, for example, was not topical, the last edition published by Sayer having appeared in 1759.
ESTC and OCLC locate Newberry and Library of Congress only for the 1766 Catalogue (the first Sayer catalogue in either database, though there is a unique volume of catalogues for 1753/1755 at the Rijksmuseum). Anthony Griffiths, ‘A Checklist of Catalogues of British Print Publishers, c. 1650-1830’, Print Quarterly, I:1, March 1984, lists the British Museum copy, and illustrates the present plate on p. 10.
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