Long title:Glamorgan shire With the sittuations of the cheife towne Cardyff and ancient Landaffe described. Copper engraving by Jodocus Hondius, later but not modern hand colouring. Overall size : 52.7ms.x 39.4cms. Plate size : 510mm x 378mm. Scale of distance . The central title cartouche is flanked on two sides by town plans of Cardiff and Llandaff. In the sea area a lady bearing the royal standard rides on the back of a sea monster. Ship with billowing sails bottom left above the scale of English miles. English text on verso. Good strong impression as would be expected from this early edition; 6.3cms old strengthening bottom of centrefold else very good condition.
Until his late thirties, John Speed was a tailor by trade but his passion for history and map-making led him to gain a patron in Sir Fulke Greville, the poet and statesman, who found him a post in the customs and helped subsidize his map-making, giving him “full liberty to express the inclination of my mind”. He became aquainted with the publisher William Camden, whose descriptive text was used by Speed for most of the maps in his atlas “The Theatre of Empire of Great Britain” published most probably in 1612 although it bears the date 1611 on the main title page. The maps were engraved in Amsterdam by Jodocus Hondius, one of the foremost engravers of his time. Speed’s maps are unique historical documents of their time and the town plans featured on the maps are in most cases the first information we have of their early apppearance. Their artistry has guaranteed the collectability of these maps in the centuries that have followed.
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