First world atlas created by an Englishman offered by Chiswick Auctions, March 16
- LONDON, United Kingdom
- March 13, 2023
LONDON – A market-fresh copy of the first world atlas compiled by an Englishman will be offered at Chiswick Auctions on March 16. John Speed’s A Prospect of the most famous Parts of the World, bound together with The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine, comes to auction via family descent. It carries an estimate of £12,000-£15,000, or about $14,300-$17,800.
John Speed (1552-1629) is perhaps the most famous English mapmaker of the early modern period. The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine, the first English attempt to produce a grand-scale atlas of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland, was first published in 1611-12, and A Prospect of the Most Famous Parts of the World was first published in 1627. Both are Speed's work and are renowned for the beauty of their engravings.
The 1676 edition included in the March 16 sale incorporates the two great works in one volume. It was published posthumously with the addition of eight new maps showing New England, Virginia and Maryland; Carolina, Jamaica and Barbados; East India, Russia and Canaan. The world map shows California as an island, with Australasia as yet uncharted.
Chiswick Auctions specialist Clive Moss describes it as “the best edition of the most influential atlas by England’s greatest cartographer – and remarkable because it has never been offered for sale before.”
Telephone enquiries: +44 (0)20 8992 4442. Email: email@example.com. Click to visit Chiswick Auctions online (www.chiswickauctions.co.uk).
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