British Isles

KENT With her Cities and Earles Described and Observed.

Copper engraving. Later, but ‘authentic’ hand colour. Letterpress in English text to verso. Performed by John Speed and … sold by Tho[ma]s Bassett in Fleet Street and Ric[hard] Chiswell in St Pauls Churchyard. Published, London, 1676.

Image size: 15” x 20” plus borders, mount and frame. Framed size: 24" x 28" approx.

Condition: Good. This map has been sympathetically and professionally conserved in the recent past. Its colour is bright and typical of the period. Mounted and framed, glazed front and back to reveal text. Centre fold as issued.

Possibly the best known and loved of English cartographers, John Speed started his career as a tailor. Due to the friendship and patronage of Sir Fulke Greville he found secure employment in the customs service, allowing him 'full liberty to express the inclination of my mind', that is, to pursue his passion for history, genealogy and antiquities.

Speed’s Map of Kent is based on the Philip Symondson map of 1596 with the addition of Town Plans of Rochester and Canterbury (the latter with an index of notable landmarks and streets delineated) and a large royal coat of arms top right. Jodocus Hondius, one of the foremost engravers of his time, engraved the maps in Amsterdam. Speed's maps are unique historical documents of their time and the town plans featured on the maps are in most cases the first information we have of their early appearance.

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KENT With her Cities and Earles Described and Observed.

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