Auction 139, Lot 603

The First English Printed Map of Asia

"Asia with the Islands Adioyning Described, the Atire of the People, & Townes of Importance, All of them Newly Augmented by I.S. Ano. Dom. 1626", Speed, John

Subject: Asia

Period: 1626 (dated)


Color: Hand Color

20.5 x 15.8 inches
52.1 x 40.1 cm

This beautiful carte-a-figures map is flanked by costumed figures of Asian peoples with a series of eight city views forming a decorative frieze across the top including Damascus, Jerusalem, Aden, Hormus, Goa, Kandy, Banten and Macau. The map is based largely on Jodocus Hondius' map of 1623 with detailed depictions of the East Indies, the Philippines and the elongated peninsula form of Korea. Large lakes and rivers dominate the interior of China and the mythical Lake of Ciamay spawns five large rivers in India Without Ganges. The Great Wall of China is placed too far north. The Caspian Sea is greatly enlarged and oriented in an east-west direction. The map is further embellished with a title cartouche, numerous sea creatures and sailing ships and an elephant appears in the interior of China. Beautifully engraved by Abraham Goos with the imprint of George Humble, published between 1623-32. The English text on verso provides a fascinating Anglo-centric view of Asia.

References: Yeo #30; Shirley (BL Atlases) #T.SPE-2a-2; Moreland & Bannister, p. 148-50.

Condition: B+

A nice impression and lovely color with a centerfold separation that enters 1" into map image at bottom and two tiny cracks in top border that have all been professionally repaired. There are a few small worm tracks in blank margins that have been expertly repaired, two of which enter map border at right and left (near the Arabian and the Moluccan) with a tiny amount of map image in facsimile. A chip in upper-left corner has also been expertly repaired with a small amount of border in facsimile. These repairs are invisible, thus it is a very good example.

Estimate: $3,500 - $4,500

Sold for: $2,100

Closed on 2/15/2012