Copper engraving with later hand colouring. Overall size in off white fully conservation grade hinged mount and back with decorative v groove : 27.3cms.x 24.8cms. Image size : 122mm.x 88mm. County name in plain cartouche at top left ; scale of distance in plain cartouche at bottom left. Text on verso concerns Herefordshire and asserts again that Herefordshire was part of Wales before the Conquest. Some very very faint show-through from reverse; remains of old tape at top on verso otherwise very good condition.
Peter Van Den Keere was one of a number of refugees who fled from religious persecution in the Low Countries between the years of 1570 and 1590. He moved to London in 1584 with his sister who married Jodocus Hondius, also a refugee there. Through Hondius he undoubtedly learned his skills as an engraver and cartographer. In the course of a long working life he engraved a large number of individual maps for prominent cartographers of the day and a series of county maps of the British Isles which became known as ‘Miniature Speeds’, a misnomer which needs explanation. In about 1599 he engraved the plates for 44 maps of the English and Welsh counties, the regions of Scotland and the Irish provinces. The English maps were based on Saxton, the Scottish on Ortelius and the Irish on the famous map by Boazio. Thse maps were not published at once in book form but there is evidence which suggests a date of publication (in Amsterdam) between 1605 and 1610 although at least one authority believes they existed only in proof form until 1617 when Blaeu issued them with a Latin edition of Camden’s Britannia. At this stage two maps were added, one of the British Isles and the other of Yorkshire, the latter derived from Saxton. Some time later the plates were aquired by Speed’s publisher, George Humble, who in 1627, the year in which he published an edition of Speed’s Atlas, also issued the Keere maps as a pocket edition. For these he used the descriptive texts of the larger Speed maps and thereafter they became known as ‘Miniature Speeds’.
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