|Method||Copper engraved with hand colour|
|Published||Sold by Tho. Baßet in Fleet Street and Richard Chiswell in St Pauls Church Yard. F. Lamb Sculp |
|Dimensions||380 x 500 mm|
John Speed's superb map of south east Asia, from the 1676 printing of his 'Prospect of the Most Famous Parts of the World.' including the Maldives, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), India, China, the kingdom of Siam (Vietnam and Thailand), the Malay peninsula, Borneo, the Philippines, Sumatra, Java and the Indonesian Islands, and the partially mapped coastlines of western Papua New Guinea. Rivers, lakes, mountains, forests, and reefs are shown pictorially, and the map is further ornamented by a decorative title cartouche flanked by figures in northern Asian dress, most likely Chinese, Tartar, and Mongolian. Unlike many of Speed's maps, reputedly engraved by the Hondius family, this particular example was engraved by the Englishman Francis Lamb, one of four maps of new geographic discoveries he engraved for inclusion in the 1767 Basset and Chiswell edition of Speed's Prospect.
John Speed (1552-1629) is the most famous of all English cartographers, primarily as a result of The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine, the first atlas of the British Isles. Speed was born in 1552 at Farndon, Cheshire. Like his father before him he was a tailor by trade, but around 1582 he moved to London. During his spare time Speed pursued his interests of history and cartography and in 1595 his first map of Canaan was published in the "Biblical Times". This raised his profile and he soon came to the attention of poet and dramatist Sir Fulke Greville a prominent figure in the court of Queen Elizabeth. Greville as Treasurer of the Royal Navy gave Speed an appointment in the Customs Service giving him a steady income and time to pursue cartography. Through his work he became a member of such learned societies as the Society of Antiquaries and associated with the likes of William Camden Robert Cotton and William Lambarde. He died in 1629 at the age of seventy-seven.
Francis Lamb (fl. 1667-1701) was a London-based printmaker and map engraver, particularly known for his work on Speed's Prospect, as well as maps for a number of seventeenth century English publishers, including Blome, Ogilby, Seller, Morden, and Philip Lea. Details of his life outside his cartographic work is patchy, though he was clearly on close personal terms with Robert Hooke, who mentions him numerous times in his diary.
Condition: Central vertical fold as issued. Repaired tears to top and bottom of central fold. Printers crease to bottom left corner of sheet. Minor foxing and dirt marks to margins, not affecting map. English text on verso.