Rare Old Color Example!
Striking old color example of John Speed's map of England, with costumed figures, a compass rose and a detailed table of the Shires of England.
Originally drawn from the map of Christopher Saxton, this is the second of Speed's maps of "The Kingdome of England," the first having been engraved by Jodocus Hondius. The first state of the map was engraved by Jodocus Hondius in 1610.
The map appeared in John Speed's The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine.
Speed's maps virtually never appear in early color, making this an exceptional find.
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.