Catalog Archive
Auction 115, Lot 376

"The Kingdome of Great Britaine and Ireland", Speed, John

Subject: Britain

Period: 1610 (dated)

Publication: A Prospect of the Most Famous Parts of the World

Color: Hand Color

19.8 x 14.7 inches
50.3 x 37.3 cm

This famous map of the British Isles was engraved by Jodocus Hondius in Amsterdam. The map's outline is based on the work of Mercator, Saxton, Hondius and on the very rare 'Battles' map of 1603 compiled by Speed himself. Moreland and Bannister point out that the sea is engraved using the shot silk style. In later editions, this near 3-D effect is lost as the delicately engraved lines wore smooth. The upper part of the map is flanked by views of London and Edinburgh, and an inset map of the Orkneys. The bird's-eye view of Edinburgh appears to be based upon a manuscript map c.1588 in the Cotton collection. The London view has some elements that resemble Norden's 1600 view, but the similarities in format with part of Visscher's 1616 panorama suggest that both perspectives derive from the same, unknown, source. Embellished with coat of arms, medals or coins, putti, sea monsters, ships, compass rose, and three cartouches. Imprint of John Sudbury and George Humbell in Popes head Alley, published circa 1611-14. English text on verso. A handsome example that shows better than condition description would suggest.

References: Moreland & Bannister p. 213; Shirley (BI) 316.

Condition: B

Crisp, dark impression and old coloring. Soil and stains in blank margins. Couple of light stains, some pin holes along centerfold, a few brown ink spots, old repaired splits in top margin and along lower centerfold.

Estimate: $2,400 - $3,000

Sold for: $2,000

Closed on 6/21/2006