Auction 127, Lot 66

"America with those known parts in that unknowne worlde both people and manner of buildings Discribed and inlarged", Speed, John

Subject: Western Hemisphere

Period: 1626 (dated)

Publication: Prospect of the Most Famous Parts of the World

Color: Hand Color

20 x 15.5 inches
50.8 x 39.4 cm

This English map of the Americas is the earliest folio atlas map to depict California as an island, thus propagating one of the most enduring cartographic myths. It is also significant for its accurate depiction of the coast between Chesapeake and Cape Cod, and early portrayal of the English colonies, Iames Citti (Jamestown) and Plymouth. Boston and Long Island are not shown. The spurious islands of Brasil and Frisland still appear in the Atlantic. An inset map shows Greenland and Iceland. The map is the superb workmanship of the Dutch engraver, Abraham Goos. It is decorated in the popular carte-a-figures style with panels of costumed native figures at each side and vignettes of major cities at top. The figures at left represent the native people of North America, and at right the major South American tribes. The cities illustrated include Havana, Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, Cusco, and other important South American settlements. A number of sea monsters, flying fish and sailing ships also decorate the map. This is the first state, issue two, which is unchanged from the first, 1626, edition but for the page number being replaced by an extended fleuron. Imprint of G. Humble in the cartouche below the title. Dated 1626, but published 1631. English text on verso.

References: Burden #217; McLaughlin #3; Tooley (Amer) p113, #3.

Condition: B

Fine impression with some minor soil and a few foxing spots. The map is close trimmed at top, as issued, with a few tiny tears along the edge closed on verso with tissue. There are hinge remnants on verso as well.

Estimate: $7,500 - $8,500

Sold for: $5,000

Closed on 2/25/2009