Italy Italia 1676 Speed map carte-a-figures beautiful antique map old color nice exampleBrian DiMambro- Antiquarian Books, Maps & Prints
Italia Newly Augmented by I. Speede and Are to be sold by Tho. Basett in Fleet-Street and Richard Chiswell in St. Pauls Church-yard.
(Italia- Italy- Europa- Europe- Carte-a-figures).
Issued 1676, London by Bassett and Chiswell; John Speed cartography.
Widely considered among the most beautiful antique maps of Italy ever published. Copper engraved with strong old [likely original] hand color.
Series of six delightful miniature prospect city views across the top [Verona, Naples, Venice, Rome, Genua, Florence], eight sets of local figures in regional dress down the sides.
Large ornate title cartouche with winged cherubs, various cultural objects, strapwork and swags, ornate distance scale with demon head bottom right, sailing ships and sea monsters. Extensive description commentary on reverse, including amusing biased descriptions of the national character, history, regional geography, etc.
Map displays beautifully, a noble survival displaying an attractive age patina. Once framed will look wonderful. Any age flaws either relatively minor or easy to forgive visually.
Top centerfold split cleanly (imperceptibly) closed on reverse with old paper. Side and top blank margins toned and chipped, now nicely backed with old paper. 3" tears into middle sides touching into the shield areas [both closed and easy to forgive visually]. Numerous short edge splits or tears well closed with old paper. the main engraved area remains virtually without loss.
Map has a very attractive age patina and overall visual appearance.
Light uniform paper age toning, original center fold.
Sheet measures c. 16 3/4" x 21 5/8".
Printed area measures c. 15 1/2" x 20 3/8".
Borri, L'Italia nell'antica Cartografia, 93. (noting a couple of minor revisions to the original 1626 engraved plate used for this version).
Tooley's Dictionary of Mapmakers, v. 4, p. 193.
[V1521 - oversized].