John Speed
By SAVERY, S[alomon] , 1630

Aet. M. Viri Clarissimi Joannis Speed Farndoniae nati in Comitatu Cestriae; Civis Londinensis, Mercatorum Seissorum Fratris Servi fidelissimi… Corpore suo levat est Julij 28. 1629. D. Georgius Humble.

Art & Architecture
  • Author: SAVERY, S[alomon]
  • Publication place: [London
  • Publisher: George Humble
  • Publication date: c1630].
  • Physical description: Engraved portrait, with contemporary hand-colour.
  • Dimensions: 410 by 550mm. (16.25 by 21.75 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 1797


Frontispiece portrait of John Speed (1551-1629) included in his ‘Theatre of the Empire of great Britaine’ from 1631. John Speed is perhaps the single most famous figure in the early history of the English map trade. His ‘Theatre…’, first published in 1612, was the first printed atlas of the British Isles. 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.

Salomon Savery (1594-1678) was a Dutch artist, engraver, and publisher from Amsterdam, as were his father, Jacob Savery (1565-1603), uncles Roelandt (1576-1639) and Hans I (1564- c1626), brothers Hans II (1589-1654) and Jacob II (1592-after 1561), and his son Jacob Savery III (1617-1666). Salomon was prolific, and created hundreds of prints: Hollstein lists more than two hundred and fifty items by him.


  1. Hollstein XXIV.133