Eighteenth century Oxford
By WILLIAMS, William , 1732

Oxonia Depicta sive Collegiorum et Aularum in Inclyta Academia Oxoniensi Ichnographica, Orthographica & Scenographica. Delineatio LXV Tabulis Encis eypressa A Guilielmo Williams Cui accedit Uniuscujusque Collegij Aulaeque Notitia.

Art & Architecture
  • Author: WILLIAMS, William
  • Publication place: Oxford
  • Publication date: 1732-33.
  • Physical description: Folio. (435 by 400 mm). Engraved title, dedication, list of plates and 63 double-page or folding copper-plate engravings. Slight foxing to double-prospect of Oxford and a few splits repaired. Full modern calf, gilt, spine in seevn compartments separated by raised bands.
  • Inventory reference: 16464


Williams was an architectural draughtsman and this is reflected in the title-page and in the formality of many of the engravings in his ‘Oxonia Depicta’. The contents of the work are similar to those in Loggan’s ‘Oxonia Illustrata’ published over fifty years earlier, commencing with a double-prospect of the city of Oxford each containing a numbered key, a plan of the city after Agas’s plan of 1588, known only by the fragmented copy in the Bodleian Library, and a contemporary plan of the city engraved by W. H. Toms after Williams. The latter plan is very detailed and includes two numbered keys to all the colleges, churches and major buildings. There is a double-prospect of the interior of the Bodleian Library after Loggan, and a number of architectural plans of the colleges engraved by J. Stuart, W. Thorpe, W. H. Toms and Williams himself. More important, the work includes ten fine large engravings of the colleges of Magdalen, Corpus, Wadham, St. John’s, Queens, New, Oriel, Trinity, Pembroke and Brasenose that show them in all their splendour at the beginning of the eighteenth century; indeed in many instances they are the only visual records of the buildings at this time of their history. The most impressive plate, however, is the large folding engraving depicting a composite view, with a numbered key, of the Clarendon Building, the Schools Building and the Sheldonian Theatre, accompanied by figures in university dress and flanked by the front elevations of several other university buildings.
This spectacular 1220 mm wide print is rarely found in fine condition. A rare and important work delineating the colleges in 1733.


  1. Clary 267
  2. Cordeaux & Merry (Univ.) 293.

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