[Newmarket Racecourse.] To his Royal Highness the Price of Wales, The Noblemen & Gentlemen Members of the Jockey Club, This Print of Newmarket Heath,Is by Permission dedicated by their most obedient humble servant - John Bodger.
Aquatint with line engraving, printed on silk. 460 x 690mm (18 x 27"). Foxing. Some wear to edges, slight spotting lower left; damaged.
A very unusual plan of the famous racecourse, printed on silk so that it could be thrust casually into a pocket by a race-goer and, unlike a paper map, is impervious to wet weather. However, as silk reacts badly to sunlight, surviving examples are scarce. The map shows the course on on a scale of c.1:9,600, marking the starting and finishing points of 18 different races. The various texts give a history of the course and a calendar of events. Above the title is a vignette view of a three-horse race approaching the finishing line. Apart from being printed on silk, this map is unusual for its use of aquatint: this etching process leaves areas of tone, here used to represent the grass of the heath. All the lines, including the lettering, have been added using more traditional etching. As aquatint had only been introduced into England in the 1770s it represents quite an early use of the technique. John Bodger was a land surveyor and keen sportsman who dabbled in publishing sporting pictures: he published one of the most famous racing portraits, Wootton's 'The Father of the Turf. Tregonwell Frampton Esqre", 1791. He is known to have published one other map, the chart of the Whittlesea Mere fishery mentioned in the publication line. The other publishers, John & Josiah Boydell, were significant London printsellers who made only a few forays into maps. In 1790 the older brother, John, became Lord Mayor of London.
[Ref: 33354] £520.00