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John Speed

English Landmark Map of America

Roger Rea and Son


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An important landmark map of America with illustrations of native Americans.

  • John Speed (English).
  • Engraved by Abraham Goos (English).
  • London: Roger Rea and Son, 1627.
  • Illustrations of 10 costume vignettes of native Americans, including the kings of New England and Florida, a Virginian and Greenlander.
  • Originally engraved for Speed's "Prospect of the Most Famous Parts of the World," the first English atlas.

An important map of America, the first atlas map to show California as an island. Above California is the outline of another large, unnamed island; nothing is shown of the Great Lakes; and Raleigh's "Parime Lacus" and "Manoa" appear in South America. An inset shows Greenland, Iceland and the mythical islands of Friesland & Buss. Along the top of the map are prospects of eight cities, including Havana, Cartagena, Mexico City and Rio de Janeiro.

This example comes from the Roger Rea issue, which was beset with disaster: according to an advert for the 1676 Bassett & Chiswell edition, "the greatest part of an Impression, then newly Printed, [was] destroyed by the late dreadful Fire, 1666." Surviving examples of any Rea map are thus rare. For his issue Rea amended the plate, adding English place names including Boston, "Long Ile," "Mary Land" and Carolina.


BURDEN: North America, 217.

Condition Report

Star iconVery Good
Like New

Original margins, minor restoration.


Height: 15.94 inches / 40.5 cm
Width: 20.67 inches / 52.5 cm


Travel, topography and voyages, Maps

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