"The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine: Presenting an Exact Geography of the Kingdomes of England, Scotland, Ireland, and the Iles Adjoyning: with the Shires...", Speed, John
Subject: Title Pages
Period: 1627 (dated)
Color: Black & White
9.6 x 15 inches
24.4 x 38.1 cm
Speed's title page is an elaboration of the architectural framework used by Abraham Ortelius in the Theatrum. The superstructure of pillars, pedestals and columns is intricately decorated with cupids' heads, grotesques, herms, putti and other figures. The dominate figure above the title is an indigenous Briton taken from an engraving of a Pict by John White that was first published by Theodor de Bry in 1590. The four other figures in the niches represent the conquerors of Great Britain - Roman, Saxon, Danish, and Norman. Vignettes of the City of London and a ship are on the foundation along with the publisher's imprint. According to Shirley, this sheet may have been engraved by Renold Elstack due to stylistic similarities to other works he engraved for Speed. George Humble's imprint is at bottom.
References: Shirley (TP) #32.
Light soiling with a damp stain at bottom left.