Auction 121, Lot 431

"Britain as it was Devided in the Tyme of the Englishe-Saxons Especially during their Heptarchy", Speed, John

Subject: Britain

Period: 1616 (published)

Publication: Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine

Color: Hand Color

19.8 x 14.8 inches
50.3 x 37.6 cm

This is an early edition of the famous map of the Saxon kingdoms, often referred to as the "Speed Heptarchy." It is one of the decorative masterpieces from Speed's important English atlas. The seven vignettes on the left side depict the early Saxon kings, and those on the right side show the conversion to Christianity of seven other kings. The map covers all of England and Scotland in detail, with only the eastern part of Ireland shown with a few place names. Coats of arms are placed within the map to locate the various kingdoms, and three strapwork cartouches and a compass rose further embellish the map. This is a superb example of the array of illustrative features and cartographic detail for which Speed is so famous. With the imprint of John Sudbury and George Humble. Latin text on verso.

References: Moreland & Bannister p. 215; Shirley (MCC-97) #317.

Condition: B+

The map has a sharp impression and presents very well. It has some small repaired wormholes just at the lower neatline and two in the upper part of the map in the sea and in Scotland that are invisible except on close inspection.

Estimate: $3,750 - $5,500

Sold for: $4,750

Closed on 9/26/2007