Fine full color example of the rare Latin edition of Speed's map of Scotland, from his Theatre of the Empire of Great Britain, first published in 1611.
Speed's map is widely regarded as the most decorative early map of Scotland. The present example is the first state, with portraits of James I (the Sixth of Scotland), Queen Anna and their sons. In 1652 these were replaced with vignettes of "commoners".
Speed's map is based on Gerard Mercator's map of 1595, but has an inset of the Orkneys top right.
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.