Decorative map of Africa from the first folio sized atlas in English. The side borders contain 2 sets of 5 decorative costumes of various African peoples; the top border shows views of 8 African Cities. The source of the Nile is based upon Ptolemy (two lakes) Monomotapa dominates southern Africa. The map is richly illustrated with animals, ships, sea serpents and other decorations. No text on the verso. Striking full color example with nice margins. A few pinholes in the margin and near the upper fold, and a tiny repaired fold split at the upper margin, just entering the image. Norwich 30.
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.