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[Speed's world map, the first atlas map to show California as an island]

image of A New and Accurat Map of the World Drawne according to ye truest Descriptions, latest Discoveries & best observations y.t have beene made by English or Strangers. 1651.


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SPEED, John.
A New and Accurat Map of the World Drawne according to ye truest Descriptions, latest Discoveries & best observations y.t have beene made by English or Strangers. 1651. London: Bassett & Chiswell, 1676. Coloured. 395 x 515mm. Lateral margins repaired, tips of bottom corners reinstated.
The double-hemisphere world map from Speed's 'Prospect of the Most Famous Parts of the World', the first English atlas of the world, first published in 1627. It was probably engraved by Abraham Goos, who signed most of the other maps in the atlas. It was the first atlas map to show California as an island, an idea Goos introduced to print with a map of North America in 1624. On the other side of the world this map also shows Korea as an island and depicts 'Beach', the mythical kingdom located on 'The Southerne Unknowne Land'. Around the rims of the double-hemispheres is an abundance of decoration, including celestial spheres in the cusps, allegorical figures of the Four Elements, portraits of circumnavigators and diagrams of eclipses. On verso is an interesting English-text 'Description of the World'. Although this is a desirable factor today, only being published in the English language limited the overseas sales potential, enhancing the rarity value. SHIRLEY: World, 317.
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