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Striking full color example of Speed's map of Oxford, from the first edition of Speed's Theatre of Great Britain, published in 1611 (and including the notation that the map was sold by I[ohn] S[sudbury] & G[eorge] H[umble]. Includes large inset plan of Oxford and 18 coats of arms. Two creases to the left of the centrdold and a bit of soiling at the centerfold, but in all a nice example of the first state of the map, with wide margins and a nice dark impression. English text on verso.

John Speed Biography

John Speed (1551 or '52 - 28 July 1629) was the best known English mapmaker of the Stuart period. Speed came to mapmaking late in life, producing his first maps in the 1590s and entering the trade in earnest when he was almost 60 years old.

John Speed's fame, which continues to this day, lies with two atlases, The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine (first published 1612), and the Prospect of the Most Famous Parts of the World (1627). While The Theatre ... started as solely a county atlas, it grew into an impressive world atlas with the inclusion of the Prospect in 1627. The plates for the atlas passed through many hands in the 17th century, and the book finally reached its apotheosis in 1676 when it was published by Thomas Bassett and Richard Chiswell, with a number of important maps added for the first time.