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The Rhine and Moselle rivers and parts of Italy

John Williams (active 1734)

Battle of Guastalla, 1734

A Description of the Surprising and Taking the Head Quarters and Camp of Marshal Broglio, General / of the French Army, by the Troops of his Imperial Majesty, in the Night between the 14th & 15th of September 1734... 1734 or later

Etching and engraving; printed on paper | Scale: 1:166,900 approx. | RCIN 727062

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A map of the country between Piacenza and Mirandola, showing the situation of Guastalla, the camps of the French and Imperial armies, and the Battle of Guastalla, fought on 19 September 1734 between the combined armies of France and Sardinia, commanded by the Duke of Savoy Charles Emmanuel III of Sardinia (1701-73) and François-Marie de Broglie, 1st duc de Broglie (1671-1745), and the Austrian Habsburg army commanded by Field Marshal Lothar Joseph Dominik Graf von Königsegg-Rothenfels (1673-1751) and Frederick Louis of Württemberg-Winnental (1690-1734), resulting in a French-Sardinian victory. War of the Polish Succession (1733-8). Oriented with north to top.

The map extends from Piacenza (45°02ʹ48ʺN 09°41ʹ58ʺE) and Cremona (45°08ʹ10ʺN 10°01ʹ41ʺE) in the west to Mirandola (44°53ʹ12ʺN 11°03ʹ58ʺE) in the east; and from Mantua (Mantova 45°09ʹ37ʺN 10°47ʹ52ʺE) in the north to Modena (44°38ʹ52ʺN 10°55ʹ31ʺE) in the south. The action is also known as the Battle of Luzzara, but this place (44°38ʹ52ʺN 10°55ʹ31ʺE), which is to the north of Guastalla, is not marked on this map.

A charming scene, top centre, shows a German hussar, dressed in French clothes, riding away with a French general's breeches hung from a French standard, while Marshal Broglio flees from his tent behind him. This refers to an episode on 14 September when de Broglio narrowly escaped capture.

In spite of the scale statement, the map is not drawn to scale and is a picturesque combination of topographical features and vignettes of towns, fortifications, armies and camps which is more reminiscent of the seventeenth than eighteenth-century cartography. It is a slight possibility that the engraver, J. Williams, is the same J. Williams who is noted by Worms and Baynton-Williams (p.724) as engraving works for John Lightfoot in 1684 when, presumably, Williams, if it is the same man, would have been quite young.

  • John Williams (active 1734) (engraver) [bottom right, inside neatline:] I. Williams fecit.

  • Watermark: None visible

    Condition: two fold lines. Verso: surface dirt; surface dirt on outer panels of fold and along right edge of verso

  • Scale: 1:166,900 approx. Scale bar: Scale of English and Italian Miles [111 mm = 10]. (rolled up)

    45.3 x 69.9 cm (neatline)

    51.6 x 70.6 cm (image)

    [top cropped] x 71.7 cm (platemark)

    52.8 x 71.7 cm (sheet)

  • Printed title:

    A Description of the Surprising and Taking the Head Quarters and Camp of Marshal Broglio, General / of the French Army, by the Troops of his Imperial Majesty, in the Night between the 14th & 15th of September 1734, under / the Command of General Count Koningseg: And also of the present Seat of War in Italy. // Une Description de la Surprise du Quartier et Camp du Marechal de Broglio, General d l’Armée / de Fance, par les Troupes de sa Majesté Imperiale, dans la Nuit du 14me et 15me Septembre 1734, sous le Com- / mandement du General Comte de Konigseck: Comme aussi une Vue du Theatre de la Guerre presente en Italie. [bottom, below map, in English and French]

    Additional text:

    [bottom, below title, in English and French, a key, A-I, K, L, the encampments of the different armies, the attack on the French camp, the flight route of the French, bridges, etc.]


    George III heading: Guastalla 14-15 Sept.r 1734.

    Other annotations: none.

    George III catalogue entry:

    Guastalla A Plan of the surprizing and taking the head quarters and camp of Marshal Broglio (at Guastalla) by the Troops of His Imperial Majesty in the night between the and of Sept.r 1734, under the command of General Count Koningseg. and of the present Seat of War in Italy. by I. Williams.

  • Probably from the collection of military and naval maps and prints formed by Prince William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland (1721-65), third son of George II; subsequently acquired by George III (1738-1820)


  • Subject(s)

    Guastalla, Emilia-Romagna, Italy (44°54ʹ47ʺN 10°39ʹ39ʺE)

  • Bibliographic reference(s)

    L. Worms and A. Baynton-Williams, British map engravers a dictionary of engravers, lithographers and their principal employers to 1850, London 2011