1626 "America with those known Parts in that unknown Worlde..." Hand-Colored Engraved Map by John Speed
1626-Dated, Hand-Colored Engraved Map titled, "America with those known Parts in that unknown Worlde...," by John Speed, the first Atlas Map to depict California as an Island, Very Fine.
This historic Engraved Hand-Colored Map by the famous engraver John Speed measures about 21.5" x 16.75" and matted to an overall size of 25.75" x 21". It is titled in English, "America with those known parts in that unknowne world both people and manner of buildings described and inlarged by I.S. Ano 1626." in a Cartouche at lower left. A nice impression of the Map by John Speed. (London): Thomas Bassett & Richard Chiswell, (1676), Fourth state. English text on verso. Two-pages joined at center with text printed in black on verso, on overall moderately yet very evenly toned period laid paper. Old hand-color, including the many wonderful decorative and informative vignetted borders for which John Speed is well known. Skillfully top hinge mounted on mat.
This impressive map by John Speed is important, beautiful, and considered one of the most iconic maps of America ever made. The right and left side borders decorated by handsome vignettes illustrating the Indigenous Peoples. The top border displays vignettes of the Cities of the Americas. In addition, this is the first Atlas Map to depict California as an Island and to depict the east coast of North America in accurate, scientific detail. The vignettes along either side of Speed's map of the Americas are of special interest, denoting as they do Indigenous Peoples including those of Greenland, New England, Virginia, Florida, Mexico, Peru, Brazil and also Tierra del Fuego. Eight different City vignettes forming the top border, depict Havanna, Santo Domingo, Mexico City, Cuzco, Cartagena, the Isle of Moca, Rio de Janeiro and Olinda. Plate impression lightly apparent within the outer borders having about 1/2 inch outer margins on all four sides. Numerous vignettes of sailing ships, sea creatures, whales and Islands are scattered adding to its historic, decorative effect. Old color includes red, blue, straw-gold and browns. California shown as an Island has light brown outline color.
John Speed (1551 or '52 - 28 July 1629) was the best known English mapmaker of the Stuart period. Speed came to mapmaking late in life, producing his first maps in the 1590s and entering the trade in earnest when he was almost 60 years old.
John Speed's fame, which continues to this day, lies with two atlases, The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine (first published 1612), and the Prospect of the Most Famous Parts of the World (1627).
While The Theatre ... started as solely a county atlas, it grew into an impressive world atlas with the inclusion of the Prospect in 1627. The plates for the atlas passed through many hands in the 17th century, and the book finally reached its apotheosis in 1676 when it was published by Thomas Bassett and Richard Chiswell, with a number of important maps added for the first time.