Speed, John (1552-1629). Africa, described, the manners of their Habits, and building eetc

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Speed, John (1552-1629).

Africa, described, the manners of their Habits, and building eetc.

London: 1626.

Single-sheet map (15” x 19 2/3”)

from PROSPECT OF THE WORLD, the FIRST WORLD ATLAS produced by an Englishman.

Hand colored MAP OF AFRICA with city prospects and figures in surrounding framework. Excellent condition with full margins and vividly preserved color pigments. Note the cartographical detail and accurate shape of the continent. However, the shape of the Nile refers to the Ptolemaic tradition with two adjacent lakes believed to be its origin.” Along the top border appear eight views of towns, mainly of North Africa, six of which are labelled at the top and two at the bottom. The Atlantic Ocean is decorated with four ships and another appears below Madagascar. Flying fish and spouting whales complete the decoration of the seas. Various types of animals such as elephants, lions, camels, monkeys and ostriches are to be found on the mainland.” (Norwich 1983). A tailor turned scholar, John Speed ranks among the most important English mapmakers of the 16th and 17th centuries. His works include historical maps, biblical genealogies, as well as the Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine (sic) and his Prospect of the World. The latter was published only two years before his death in 1627. Norwich, Oscar: “Maps of Africa: An Illustrated and Annotated Carto-Bibliography”, Johannesburg 1983.