Speed’s map of ‘Tartary’
By SPEED, John , 1676

A Newe Mape of Tartary augmented by John Speede.

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  • 作者: SPEED, John
  • 出版地: [London]
  • 出版商: and are to be sold by Tho: Bassett in Fleet Street & Richard Chiswell in St. Pauls Churchyard
  • 发布日期: [1676].
  • 物理描述: Double-page engraved map with hand-colour.
  • 方面: 395 by 510mm. (15.5 by 20 inches).
  • 库存参考: 21929


A map of Tartary (encompassing parts of modern-day Siberia and Central Asia) from the 1676 edition of the first atlas compiled and published by an Englishman, Speed’s ‘Prospect’. The decorative border that runs along the top of the map depicts views of major cities, as well as the house built on ‘Nova Zemla’ (Novaya Zemlya) by the explorer Willem Barentsz and his crew, stranded there in 1596 – here presented fending off a polar bear. Along each side are illustrated figures in regional costume.

Accompanying text in English, ‘The Description of the Kingdom of Tartary’, 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.

This map is from the 1676 edition of the ‘Prospect’, published by Thomas Bassett and Richard Chiswell. While not as rare as the earlier publications, this edition is perhaps the most important, given that it is the first to include the nine new maps: among them, Virginia and Maryland, Barbados, and Russia. It is also the last time that the ‘Prospect’ was printed as an atlas.


  1. Shirley [Atlases], T.SPE-2f.