Coloured double hemisphere map of the world from John Speed’s “A Prospect of the Most Famous Parts of the World” published by Bassett and Chiswell in 1676. The map, which is one of the earliest world maps printed in the English language and was first published in 1627, is a fourth state example as the date has been changed from 1626 to 1651 and sellers are Bassett & Chiswell. It is one of the first world maps to depict California as an island and, being published in England, clearly shows the English discoveries in Virginia by John Smith and the then newly established 1620 settlement in Plymouth. The map is richly decorated with portraits of Age of Discovery explorers Drake, Magellan, Cavendish and van Noort who circumnavigated the globe, diagrams of a solar and lunar eclipse, representations of the four classical elements (water, earth, fire and air) and celestial charts showing constellations of the northern and southern hemispheres. A general description of the World appears on the verso in English. Other than minor discolouration to the blank margins and repairs to a bottom centrefold split and a tear to the top right margin that just enters the image, a finely coloured example on heavy, stable paper with full margins in excellent condition. 39.5 cm x 52.5 cm