Oblong octavo (110 x 175 mm.) 2 parts bound in 1, full contemporary calf, blind panelled with ornate floral corner decoration, rebacked. With engraved title page, ‘Catalogue of all the Shires’ and 63 engraved maps engraved by Pieter van der Keere, two of which are folding. With typographic title page of the ‘Prospect’ dated 1668 and 20 engraved maps. Complete with 63+20 maps. First title with professionally repaired margins, paper flaw touching Pembroke map restored, some spotting and dampstaining, otherwise complete and in good condition.
Although dated 1666 on the title page of the British section this is in fact an edition published in 1668. The most obvious evidence is the presence of the ‘Prospect of the Most Famous Parts of the World’ dated 1668, with a new imprint ‘at the Gilded Cross in Winchester-Street near Gresham-Colledge.’ Many of the faded plates have been re-touched too; all of the cracked plates with the exception of Devon have been repaired. In working on the Northamptonshire map (no. 27) the ‘2’ has been reversed. Ownership of the plates had descended from George Humble to his son William. The Stationers’ Register records on 24 March 1658 [i.e. 1659] that Humble sold the rights and plates of all of Speed’s works to William Garrett. Indeed, Skelton states that Humble was a Royalist and in fact secretly supported King Charles II whilst in exile with subsidies. After his restoration to the throne he was made a Baronet, on 21 June 1660, barely three weeks after Charles II entered London. By 1662 Garrett seems to have conveyed the rights and plates to Roger Rea. Editions by him are some of the rarest survivors of the series. Provenance: private English collection. Chubb 16; ESTC R37583 & R32652; Hodson 5.4; Kingsley 8.3; Shirley ‘Atlases in the British Library’ T.Kee 1i and 2d; Skelton 86; Wing S4888.