London: c. 1620. Sir Walter Raleigh [c.1552 - 1618] was an English soldier, explorer, statesman and writer, and a favorite of Queen Elizabeth I. By the time this portrait was made and printed, Ralegh had fallen from favor, and had spent some years in the Tower of London.
Wikimedia Commons: The plate was used as the frontispiece to the third edition of Raleigh's History of the World in 1617, but was also separately published. "It is improbable that this plate should have been destined to Ralegh's History of the World in 1614, for Simon Passe did not publish any engraving in London before 1613, and Ralegh's book seems to have been on the stocks since 1611. […] The sudden appearance of the engraved portrait in the third edition's of Ralegh book in 1617 may possibly have been due to a decision to omit, as a precaution, Ralegh's portrait from the forthcoming Book of Heroes. The plate being then in Compton Holland's hands was possibly disposed of to Ralegh's publisher, if not to Ralegh himself, the original inscription erased and a new and non-commital title substituted. […] At the date when Simon Passe first came to London, Ralegh had already spent some years of confinement in the Tower of London. His appearance had altered since the majestic presentment of 1602, and the portrait engraved by Passe is evidently a truthful representation, based on some drawing or painting taken from the life. […] Ralegh is still figured as a commander, with a truncheon in his hand, with shoulder-plates of armour showing the leather lining. […] Under his right hand is a globe, on which is a ship at sea, and the name Guiana. […] In the spandrels of the frame are suitable grotesque figures, one holding a map on which can be read Cadiz and Hisp. […] Below the portrait, over an erased inscription, are a shield with the armorial quarterings of Ralegh […] No impression of the plate in its original state can be traced, although it is stated to have a different motto, FORTUNAM EX ALIIS, and the inscription evidently consisted of six lines. The engraved portrait as issued was the foundation of all engraved portraits, published in the seventeenth century, engraved by Robert Vaughan and other various publishers." — Lionel Cust, in: Cust, Lionel (1919). "The Portraits of Sir Walter Ralegh". The Volume of the Walpole Society 8: 9-10. "This image soon permeated popular culture and became the iconic representation of Ralegh most often available during the 17th century to the book-buying and print-buying public (e.g., several anonymous copies exist, and Passe's design was re-engraved by Robert Vaughan and Frederick Hendrik van Hove in the latter half of the century)." — Deborah Taylor-Pearce, in: Taylor-Pearce, Deborah (2019). Sir Walter Ralegh (1552-1618). She-philosopher.com website.
Impression 4.5 x 7.25" on laid paper 8.25 x 12.25". Left margin supported with an early strengthening, short closed tear in right margin. Overall, a nice copy of what would appear to be a later pull from the plate, as there is some loss of definition to the detailed brocade of Ralegh's coat and the map of Cadiz. Very good condition. Item #27356