|Method||Copper engraved with hand colour|
|Artist||van den Keere, Pieter|
|Dimensions||85 x 122 mm|
A small, decorative map of Staffordshire from Pieter van den Keere's 'England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland Described'. The miniature atlas, which was heavily based on John Speed's 'Theatre', is generally referred to as a 'pocket edition' of Speed's atlas. In total, 63 maps were featured in van den Keere's atlas, those of of which were arranged in the same sequence as Speed's 'Theatre', and featured English text on the backs that was a word-for-word reprinting of the text featured in Speed's atlas. Although three editions of the atlas exist - 1627, 1632, and 1646 - the plates for the maps remained unaltered, although progressive wear and damage assists dating the editions. Whilst the plates were not reworked, the layout of the text on the reverse of the maps differed from edition to edition. Between 1662 and 1668, Roger Rea reissued the atlas, with several of the damaged and worn plates being re-engraved, or replaced.
Pieter van den Keere, also known frequently as Petrus Kaerius, came to England in 1584, as a Protestant refugee from his home town of Ghent with his sister Colette, who married Jodocus Hondius, in 1587. It was probably from Hondius that Keere learned to engrave. Both engravers left London in 1593 to settle in Amsterdam. Keere began to engrave a series of miniature maps in 1599 in preparation for a small atlas of the British Isles. The maps were first published in 1617 by William Blaeu with plate numbers and Latin text. They then passed to George Humble, who published them in 1619 and then again in 1627, by which time they had become known colloquially as 'Miniature Speeds.'