Oblong octavo (95 x 150 mm.), full recent calf, extremely ornate two-toned blind panelled decoration to boards, spine with raised bands, each compartment with ornate blind decoration, with gilt embossed date and title. Engraved title trimmed and laid down, engraved ‘Catalogue of all the Shires’, 63 full page engraved maps by van den Keere after Speed, 2 folding, that of the British Isles inserted from another example. No pagination but signatures A-Z8, [Aa4]. Light browning and foxing throughout, otherwise a good example.
FIRST ENGLISH EDITION of the ‘miniature Speed’ printed by John Dawson rarely found complete. The plates for this series were first engraved by Pieter van den Keere and only consisted of 44; they were later expanded to 63 as included here in the first English edition. This work is known more commonly as the miniature Speed atlas. The title refers to the folio edition of Speed’s atlas published also at this time by George Humble, hence the attribution. Of the original 44 plates, 5 were of groups of counties and were replaced by Humble with individual ones – all except that of Cumberland and Westmoreland. These original 39 maps plus the two folding ones added early on were therefore expanded to 57. The additional 6 were miniature versions of the folio atlas which were not yet accounted for, those of Wales, Scotland, Ireland and the various island maps. The titles of all the maps are now in English, the earlier van den Keere plates being in Latin. The maps are all enumerated. There were many later editions of this work, all largely shadowing the folio editions. The first three editions all bear title pages dated 1627, causing some confusion. Provenance: acquired from Brian Kentish Catalogue 2012 item 50 for a private English collection. Burden (2007); Chubb (1927) no. 11; ESTC S103213; Shirley (2004) T.Kee 1d; Skelton (1970) no. 17.