Catalog Archive
Auction 190, Lot 669

"The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine. Presenting an Exact Geography of the Kingdomes of England Scotland and Ireland and the Isles Adjoyning with the Shires Hundreds Citys and the Shire Townes...", Speed, John

Subject: Title Pages

Period: 1676 (published)


Color: Black & White

9.6 x 14.9 inches
24.4 x 37.8 cm
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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 dominant 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. Although similar to the title page of the previous editions, this plate was newly engraved by R. White. The imprint of Thomas Bassett and Richard Chiswell is at bottom.

References: Shirley (BL Atlases) T.SPE-1j; cf. Shirley (TP) #32.

Condition: B+

A crisp impression on a sheet that has been remargined on all four sides. There are some light spots and a couple archivally repaired edge tears.

Estimate: $220 - $250

Sold for: $130

Closed on 11/16/2022