A scarce Robert Sayer plan or map of London, England presented here in its 1792 first edition. The map covers from Pentonville to Stepney Church and from Walworth to the Serpentine (Hyde Park). The City of London is highlighted in red outline. Sayer's map shows all major roads and parks ad well as Thames River crossings throughout. A table at the base of the map identifies important sites by letter. All major streets, parks, squares, and buildings are noted. Sayer first produced this map in 1792, which is the offered edition. Afterwards it was updated and republished by Laurie and Whittle in 1796 and 1798 editions. The latter two editions popup from time to time, the first edition is extremely scarce - likely suggestive a very small run near the end of Sayer's mapmaker career. He died two years later in 1794.
Robert Sayer (1725 - January 29, 1794) was an important English map publisher and engraver active from the mid to late 18th century. Sayer was born in Sunderland, England, in 1725. He may have clerked as a young man with the Bank of England, but this is unclear. His brother, James Sayer, married Mary Overton, daughter-in-law of John Overton and widow of Philip Overton. Sayer initially worked under Mary Overton, but by December of 1748 was managing the Overton enterprise and gradually took it over, transitioning the plates to his own name. When Thomas Jefferys went bankrupt in 1766, Sayer offered financial assistance to help him stay in business and, in this way, acquired rights to many of the important Jefferys map plates as well as his unpublished research. From about 1774, he began publishing with his apprentice, John Bennett (fl. 1770-1784), as Sayer and Bennett, but the partnership was not formalized until 1777. Bennett retired in 1784 following a mental collapse and the imprint reverted to Robert Sayer. From 1790, Sayer added Robert Laurie and James Whittle to his enterprise, renaming the firm Robert Sayer and Company. Ultimately, Laurie and Whittle partnered to take over his firm. Sayer retired to Bath, where, after a long illness, he died. During most of his career, Sayer was based at 53 Fleet Street, London. His work is particularly significant for its publication of many British maps relating to the American Revolutionary War. Unlike many map makers of his generation, Sayer was a good businessman and left a personal fortune and great estate to his son, James Sayer, who never worked in the publishing business.
Very good. Minor discoloration, upper right quadrant. Dissected and mounted on linen in 16 sections. Folds into original slipcase.