395 x 515 mm., with recent outline and wash colour, with minor toning, otherwise in good condition with good margins.
An example of the map of Persia by John Speed (1552-1629), from the most prestigious English world atlas of the seventeenth century. Speed is the most famous of all the English map-makers. His two most celebrated publications are ‘The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britain’ covering the British Isles, first published in 1611, and the ‘Prospect of the Most Famous Parts of the World’, first published in 1627. Speed had a great interest in history and maps. He wanted to produce an English atlas of the same high standards and quality as those published on the continent.
The ‘Prospect of the Most Famous Parts of the World’ was published in 1627, two years before the death of Speed. Ownership of the atlas passed through various hands until sometime after 1668 when Roger Rea sold the rights to Thomas Bassett and Richard Chiswell. Bassett was a specialist in legal books and Chiswell was the publisher for the Royal Society. The final 1676 edition of the ‘Prospect’ includes eight further maps on seven sheets appearing for the first and only time. The maps are attractive because of the border illustrations and insets with the arms of the country and the nobility, figures in national costume, city views, town plans, views of castles and cathedrals, and other interesting features. Ala’i, Cyrus. (2003). ‘Mapping Persia: A brief introduction’, in IMCoS Journal 94 pp. 5-22; Al Ankary p. 176 pl. 43; Phillips ‘Atlases’ 488; Shirley BL T.Spe 1j; Skelton 92; Wing S4886.