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Oustanding Engravers and Publishers

In the history of Oxfordshire topographical print-making there are some names which stand out.

David Loggan

  • Loggan was appointed engraver to the University of Oxford in 1669.
  • His book Oxonia Illustrata (1675) was intended as a companion to Anthony Wood’s History and antiquities of the University of Oxford (1674).
  • It contains general views of the city, detailed views of the colleges, and illustrations of academic dress.
Loggan engraved print of the Sheldonian Theatre, 1675Illustration: Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford, from 'Oxonia Illustrata'

John and Josiah Boydell

  • Engraver turned publisher, John Boydell, reached the heights of commercial success in the 1760s and was joined by his apprentice nephew, Josiah, in 1766.
  • Together they published An History of the River Thames in 1794-1796, featuring 76 hand-coloured aquatint plates by German engraver Joseph Constantine Stadler, after drawings by Joseph Farington.
Colour engraving of Blenheim, by  J Farington, 1793Illustration: Blenheim (1794), from ‘An History of the River Thames’

Rudolph Ackermann

  • Bookseller and lithographer Rudolph Ackermann’s History of the University of Oxford was published in two volumes in 1814.
  • It contained 69 coloured aquatints of views of the University buildings and colleges, engraved by J. Bluck, J.C. Stadler and others, from drawings by Pugin, Mackenzie and others.
Aquatint engraving of Oxford Castle, 1809, by R AckermannIllustration: View of Oxford Castle (1809)

Joseph Skelton

  • Joseph Skelton began engraving and publishing parts of his Oxonia Antiqua Restaurata from 1818 but it was not until 1820 that the project was completed.
  • The work contains 170 copper engravings, either from original drawings by Frederick Mackenzie or from pictures accompanying the Oxford Almanacks for 1723-1823.
South west view of Oxford, 1767Illustration: South West View of Oxford (1767)

Joseph Skelton

  • Joseph Skelton’s Engraved illustrations of the principal antiquities of Oxfordshire (1823) was the first conventional antiquarian history of the county, and contained 49 steel engravings from drawings by Frederick Mackenzie.
Demolished Church of Bladon, 1823Illustration: Demolished Church of Bladon (1823)

John Le Keux

  • John H. Le Keux. James Ingram was Keeper of the University Archives from 1815, and was particularly drawn to antiquarian research.
  • His three-volume Memorials of Oxford (1832-1837) includes 100 illustrative plates drawn by Frederick Mackenzie and engraved by John Le Keux.
West Front of Christ Church, Oxford, 1833Illustration: Demolished Church of Bladon (1823)

Nathaniel Whittock

  • Nathaniel Whittock was a lithographer turned publisher.
  • Whittock produced The Microcosm of Oxford, containing a series of views of the churches, colleges, halls & other public buildings of the University and City of Oxford (c. 1830), featuring 37 lithographed plates.
Exeter College Quad, Oxford, 1830Illustration: Exeter College (c. 1830)

Nathaniel Whittock

  • Whittock’s later Bird’s-eye view of the University and City of Oxford (1845) captures the city at the end of a period of building in the classical style, soon to give way to a flood of neo-Gothic
Bird's-eye view of the University and City of Oxford, 1845Illustration: Bird's-eye view of the University and City of Oxford (1845)

John Whessell

  • John Whessell was both an able engraver and painter. Together with Thomas Bartlett he published:
  • Oxford delineated; or A sketch of the history and antiquities, and a general topographical description, of that celebrated university and city. Illustrated by a series of views (1831).
  • This work contains 50 copper-plate engravings produced by Whessell himself.
Astronomical Observatory, Oxford, 1832Illustration: Astronomical Observatory (1832)

Oxford University Almanack

  • The annual Oxford Almanack, has been published by Oxford University Press since 1674.
  • They were a grandiose advertisement for the academic standing of the University Press, and employed a series of expert engravers and artists.
  • They were engraved from copper plates until 1831 after which steel was used for the illustration and the calendar was printed from type.
South East View of the Cathedral and Chapter House of Christ Church, Oxford, Almanack, 1748Illustration: South East View of the Cathedral and Chapter House of Christ Church (Almanack, 1828)

Oxford University Almanack

Founders and Benefactors of St Alban Hall, Oxford, Almanack, 1748Illustration: Founders and Benefactors of St Alban Hall (Almanack, 1748)