Speed’s map of Italy
By SPEED, John , 1626, [but 1627-1632]
£2,500
BUY

Italia Newly Augmented by I: Speede.

Europe Italy
  • Author: SPEED, John
  • Publication place: [London]
  • Publisher: Are to be sold in Pops-head aley by George Humble
  • Publication date: 1626, [but 1627-1632].
  • Physical description: Double-page engraved map with hand-colour.
  • Dimensions: 395 by 520mm. (15.5 by 20.5 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 21922

Notes

A map of Italy, Sardinia, and Corsica from the first atlas compiled and published by an Englishman, Speed’s ‘Prospect’. The decorative border along the top of the map shows views of major cities, including Venice, Rome, and Florence. Along each side are depicted figures in regional dress (among them, the Pope and the Venetian Doge). Unlike the other maps in the ‘Prospect’, the figures are presented in pairs, interspersed with the arms of the Pope, Venice, Sardinia, and Corsica.

Accompanying text in English, ‘The Description of Italy’, is printed on the reverse.

John Speed (1552-1629) was the outstanding cartographer of his age. By trade a merchant tailor, but by proclivity a historian, it was the patronage of Sir Fulke Greville, poet and statesman, that allowed him to pursue this interest in earnest. His ‘Theatre of Great Britain’, first published in 1611 or 1612, was the first large-scale printed atlas of the British Isles. The ‘Prospect of the Most Famous Parts of the World’, from which the present work is drawn, appeared in 1627, bound with the ‘Theatre’, and is the first world atlas compiled by an Englishman to be published in England. Engraved in Amsterdam, many of the maps are anglicized versions of works by Dutch makers in distinctive carte-à-figure style, featuring borders with figures in local costume and city views.

Bibliography

  1. Chubb, XXV
  2. Shirley [Atlases], T.SPE-2a.
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