John Speed (1552 - 1629)

Background :
John Speed is arguably the most famous cartographer of any period, as a result of his atlas The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine, the first atlas of the British Isles. The individual maps are the best known and among the most sought-after of all county maps. The maps themselves were derived from the best and most up-to-date sources available; however, Speed did make innovations- introducing town plans on many of his maps, he included county boundaries on almost all maps, also the coats of arms of local Earls and Dukes and the Royal arms. The overall effect is to produce very decorative, attractive and informative maps.

Speed also produced the first world atlas by an Englishman, entitled The Prospect of the most Famous Parts of the World (1627). The maps are famous for their bordering panels of national characters in local costume and panoramic views depicting the areas major towns and cities. In addition to the obvious decorative quality of the maps, regular atlas copies have two pages of English text printed on the reverse, giving a charming description of life in the early seventeenth century of the area shown

John Speed (3)

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1610 John Speed Antique Map of The English County of Cambridgeshire

1610 John Speed Antique Map of The English County of Cambridgeshire

  • Title : Cambridgeshire described with the deuision of the hundreds, the Townes situation with the Armes of the Colleges of that famous Vniuersiti...And also the Armes of all such Princes and noble men as have heertofore borne the Honorable tytles & dignities of the Earldome of Cambridge....Performed by John Speede and are to be sold in popes alley by John Sudbury and G Humbell...Cum Privilego 1610.
  • Size: 20 1/2in x 15in (510mm x 380mm)
  • Condition: (B) Good Condition
  • Date : 1610
  • Ref #:  80002

Description:
This original hand coloured antique 1st edition map of the English county of Cambridgeshire was engraved in 1610 - dated -and was published by John Sudbury & George Humble in the 1612 1st edition of John Speeds famous atlas The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine.
The map has some loss mainly along the borders and a few small areas below both sets of figures. Map has been mounted onto an original index page fro m Speeds atlas.

General Definitions:
Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy and stable
Paper color : - off white
Age of map color: - Original
Colors used: - Yellow, green, blue, pink
General color appearance: - Authentic
Paper size: - 20 1/2in x 15in (510mm x 380mm)
Plate size: - 20 1/2in x 15in (510mm x 380mm)
Margins: - Min 1/2in (12mm)

Imperfections:
Margins: - Map cropped to and into borders
Plate area: - Small loss below both sets of figures at the bottom of the map
Verso: - Backed onto original Speed index double page

Background: 
Strong reference is made to Cambridges famous and renowned university with the (twenty five) armourials of the colleges and four scholarly figures. The birds eye view plan of Cambridge city is based on the one done by John Hammond in 1592.

$699.00 USD
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1611 Speed Antique Map of the British Islands of Holy, Farne, Jersey & Guernsey

1611 Speed Antique Map of the British Islands of Holy, Farne, Jersey & Guernsey

Description:
This finely engraved beautifully hand coloured original antique map by John Speed of the English Islands of Holy & Farne Island's; Guernsey & Jersey was published by John Sudbury & George Humbell in the 1611 1st  edition of John Speeds famous atlas The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine, first published in 1611. 
The verso contains text in English describing the 4 Islands and their history. (Ref: Tooley; M&B)

General Description:
Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy and stable 
Paper color: - off white
Age of map color: - Original & later color
Colors used: - Yellow, green, blue, red, pink
General color appearance: - Beautiful 
Paper size: - 21in x 16in (535mm x 405mm)
Plate size: - 20 1/2in x 15 1/2in (520mm x 395mm)
Margins: - Min 1/4in (6mm)

Imperfections:
Margins: - Restoration to top, left & bottom margins
Plate area: - Light creasing, repair to bottom publishers cartouche, no lo0ss
Verso: - Colour show through, restoration to bottom centrefold and margins as noted

$475.00 USD
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1676 John Speed Original Antique Letterpress Title Page To Speeds World Atlas

1676 John Speed Original Antique Letterpress Title Page To Speeds World Atlas

  • Title : A Prospect of the most Famous Parts of the World.....by John Speed.....Printed for Thomas Bassett at the George in fleet-Street, and Richard Chiswell at the Rose and Crown in St Pauls Church-Yard MDCLXXVI
  • Size: 16in x 10n (400mm x 255mm)
  • Condition: (A) Very Good Condition
  • Date : 1676
  • Ref #:  93109

Description:
This original antique letterpress title page is from the 1676 Atlas A Prospect of the most Famous Parts of the World by John Speed, printed for Thomas Bassett and Richard Chiswell, London.

General Definitions:
Paper thickness and quality: - Light and stable
Paper color : - off white
Age of map color: -
Colors used: -
General color appearance: -
Paper size: - 16in x 10n (400mm x 255mm)
Plate size: - 16in x 10n (400mm x 255mm)
Margins: - Min 1/2in (12mm)

Imperfections:
Margins: - Several small repairs on verso with archival tape
Plate area: - Several small repairs on verso with archival tape
Verso: - Several small repairs on verso with archival tape

Background: 
John Speed is perhaps the most famous single figure in the early history of the English map trade. He was a member of the Merchant Taylors Company, made free in September 1580, and later Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. By training he was probably a rolling-press printer, but by interest he was a historian, and Queen Elizabeth granted him a sinecure in the Customs House, to give him the opportunity to pursue these interests.
His earliest cartographic publications were historical; in 1595, he published a wall map of the Holy Land, Canaan as it was Possessed both in Abraham and Israels Dayes, a two-sheet map of The Invasions of England and Ireland with all their Civill Warres since the Conquest (1601) and a wall map of England, Wales and Ireland showing the same information, [1603-1604].
In 1611 he prepared two Bible maps, the larger inserted in folio editions of the great King James Bible, the smaller in octavo printings; Speed also secured a privilege, dated 31st October 1610, to ensure that the map was inserted in every copy of the Bible sold, a lucrative arrangement that the Stationers Company eventually felt impelled to buy out from his heirs.
Speed always considered his History of Great Britaine (1611) his major work, but his reputation was established by the companion atlas volume, Theatre of the Empire of great Britaine, published in 1612, the first printed atlas of the British Isles. The earliest map prepared was The County Palatine of Chester [1604], but the death of the engraver William Rogers meant that Speeds publishers had to turn to Jodocus Hondius, an Amsterdam engraver, to prepare the maps.
The atlas was completed in 1612; the maps are notable for the decorative elements included, evidence of Speeds interest in antiquities and most have inset town-plans, the first series of printed town-plans of the British Isles, and were issued with descriptive English text printed on the verso. In the hands of different publishers, there were numerous editions to 1676 with text; later printings into the 1770s were issued without text.
Towards the end of his career, Speed also prepared a world atlas: the Prospect of the most Famous Parts of the World (1627), the first world atlas compiled by an Englishman and published in England, although the maps were engraved in Amsterdam, using Dutch models. Again, this was printed with English text on the verso, and reprinted thereafter. While early editions are rarer, perhaps the most important edition was the 1676 printing, which added newly prepared English maps of New England, Virginia, the Carolinas, Barbados and Jamaica.
Speeds publishers also prepared two pocket atlases, colloquially called miniature Speeds, reproducing the Theatre and Prospect on a smaller, less expensive, format. The county atlas, England, Wales, and Ireland: ... their several Counties abridged, first appeared in 1627, although there is an earlier proof version from about 1620; the A Prospect of the Most Famous Parts of the World appeared in 1646; both were reprinted in several editions up to 1675. However, Speed himself probably had little creative contribution to either atlas.

$110.00 USD
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