Fine example of the first state of Speed's landmark map of America, the first atlas map to depict California as an Island and to accurately depict the East Coast of North America. The map was engraved by Abraham Goos, who drew upon his own map of North America of 1624 and the 1625 Briggs for his depiction of California. The Straits of Anian and hint of the Northwest Coastline also appear. The mythical islands of Brasil and Frisland still appear in the North Atlantic. The Plymouth colony in Massachusetts and Jamestown colony in Virginia are both shown. The first state pre-dates the addition of Boston and Long Island. The vignettes on the sides depict the native costumes of Greenland, Virginia, Florida, Mexico, New Englande, Peru, Brazil, Mochan and Magellanica. The 8 views across the top represent town plans for the largest cities in the New World. The inset depicts Greenland and Iceland. No sign of the Great Lakes. A number of sea monsters and sailing ships also decorate the map. A nearly flawless example in full period color, with wider than usual marigins for the first state. From the 1627 edition of Speed's Prospect of the Most Famous Parts of the World, bearing the imprint of G. Humble. McLaughlin 3; Burden 217; Tooley p113.
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.