First edition of Speed's map in nice early color, decorated with 10 costumed figures and 8 town plans of important early Asian cities (Candy, Goa, Damascus, Jerusalem, Orumus, Bantam, Aden and Macao). Korea is shown as a slender oddly projected Peninsula. The Great Wall of China is shown, along with and Elephant above the source of the Ganges. A nice simple/naïve Northeast passage is shown, along with a piece of North America and sea monsters in the extreme North Pacific and Southern Indian Sea. The text on the verso presents a fascinating Anglocentric view of Asia in the early 17th Century. A gorgeous example with larger than usual margins.
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.