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The Kingdome Of Great Britaine And Ireland

The Kingdome Of Great Britaine And Ireland : J. Speed

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A rare, early printing of John Speed's renowned map of the British Isles. John Speed's iconic map of the British Isles; a British map by a British mapmaker. Speed based his map on a combination of Saxton's map of England and Wales, the 1591 Hondius map of Ireland and Mercator's map of Scotland. Nevertheless his finished compilation is decoratively unique. Speed includes panoramas of London and Edinburgh, two of the earliest views of those cities, as well as two medallion portraits of Britannia and Cunobelinus or King Coel. The surrounding seas are decorated with sea monsters and sailing ships, and, emerging from the seas, a unicorn holding the banner of Scotland, a lion supporting the English flag and a griffon-like creature with the Irish flag. Cherubs with geographical instruments support the mileage scale in the lower left corner and the royal arms appear at upper left above the image of London. This finely engraved and detailed map is most sought after and was produced by John Speed, historian, genealogist and cartographer for publication in his "... Theatre Of The Empire Of Great Britain ..." – the first atlas of the British Isles. Most often seen with English, or Latin, text printed on the reverse, this is a rare example of the map in it's first edition. The copperplate, engraved in the workshop of Amsterdam master map engraver, Jodocus Hondius, was first printed in atlas form in 1612 and remained in use, with amendments and alterations to publishers' imprints until late into the following century. Later printings, from an old and worn plate, are notably inferior whereas this example shows the engraving at its freshest on good quality paper. A fine and decorative example.
mapmaker: J. Speed  
place and date of publication: London 1612
medium and colour: Copperplate, Coloured
size in mm: 385 by 510mm (15.25 by 20 inches).
ref: 41656

Price: £ 3500

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