"I have had the pleasure to view a most beautiful land, which is very populous, with a quantity of churches so numerous as to pass belief, the kingdom is most rich in the fertility of the soil and by its most extensive commerce with all parts of the known world."
So enthused the venetian ambassador Foscorrini as he journeyed through old England a
North towards Scotland in the year 1613. His journey was aided by the latest wonder of the age - a detailed
pictorial atlas, drawn by the English map maker John Speede. It was the first atlas to encompass all the Counties of Britain and when published between 1611 and 1612 it was destined to become and remain the best known collection of English County maps.
Today Speede's old maps are valued for their amazing ability to combine function with beauty. As well as showing towns, villages and boundaries as they were during the times of William Shakespeare, he portrayed the first 'aerial' views of many cities, and embellished his work with a wealth of heraldic detail and decoration. Royal portraits and illustrations of historical battle sites which elevated his craftsmanship into an elaborate work of art.
Imagine the difference his maps made to the life of the times, for travellers, administrators and soldiers, the countryside was bought to life before their eyes. As Samuel Pepyes remarked in 1662 when searching in the Forrest of Dean in 1662 for sources of timber to build ships for the navy "Speede's map there showed me how it lies". So valuable were his maps that in 1627 his atlas could not be purchased for less than forty shillings; an enormous sum, and his work remained the supreme achievement in British cartography for a further one hundred and fifty years.
Our exclusive reproductions of these antique maps are individually prepared and printed in-house using the very latest technology, including new color calibration technology and a unique 12-color pigment ink system resulting in exceptional quality prints of museum quality standard. Such is the quality of the materials used your map will not suffer from any fading issues for a period in excess of ninety years! They are presented on an expensive 'antiqued parchment' treated so as to look and actually feel old.
No two counties are remotely similar, fascinating, absorbing, involving and beautiful in their infinite and delicate details. Astonishing when you consider how the originals were so painstakingly drawn by hand and the circumstances and difficulties under which the maps were compiled and meticulously completed by the skills of a master craftsman.
Speede also produced maps of America, Europe including France, Italy and Spain, Africa and China. Other map makers of the period also included Blaue and Sansome their work is also available from us again available as fine art prints, again reproduced with the use of the very latest printing techniques, resulting in breathtaking pieces that when framed will enhance any home or workplace.
We are always adding new titles to our collection of antique map reproductions of the USA, UK, Europe and the World. Still on the theme of Shakespeare and Stratford -upon-Avon here's one of the latest -
Latest Additions - Old Map of Russia - Historical Print Tahiti - Antique Map of the World - Antique Poster New Guinea - Reproduction of a Town Plan of Newcastle - Town Plans of Nottingham and Newark - Sea Monsters - Early Australia - Mediterranean Sea Chart - Town Plan of Jakarta - Robinson Crusoe Island - South America - Polus Antarcticus 1638 - Voyages of Discovery
Approximate Overseas Pricing for Maps Including Shipping
USA and Rest of World US $16.75 (Parchment Series) From US $16.75 (Color Maps)