SPEED, John (1552-1629). The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine: presenting an exact geography of the Kingdomes of England, Scotland, Ireland, and the Iles adjoining. London: W.Hall for John Sudbury & George Humble, 1611-1612.
4 parts in one volume, 2° (447 x 312mm). Mounted on guards throughout. Engraved general title, three letterpress section titles, engraved or woodcut Royal arms, decorations and initials, 65 double-page engraved maps only (of 67); most by Jodocus Hondius, with fine hand-colouring, shading, detailing and extensive heightening in gilt throughout. (Lacking Saxon Britain and the Kingdom of England maps, title cut to the edge of image and laid-down, some maps with old repaired tears, the majority at the folds, some with sections of blank margin neatly replaced.) 18th-century mottled calf gilt, g.e. (rebacked, small repairs to leather on lower covers).
FIRST EDITION WITH VERY FINE DETAILED HAND-COLOURING AND GILDING, of the earliest published atlas of the British Isles with the counties divided into hundreds. This edition was designed to be bound with Speed's History.. (STC 23045) which has pagination and signatures that are continuous with the present work. From 1627 it is more usual to find A prospect of the most famous parts of the World.. bound in, and from 1676 it is mentioned on the general title. The colouring in this copy is quite exceptional: on the Munster map the man performing a quiet jig in the bottom left corner of his map wears gold boots. Chubb XXII; STC 23041.