Auction 130, Lot 420

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

Subject: Britain

Period: 1611 (circa)

Publication: Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine

Color: Hand Color

20 x 15 inches
50.8 x 38.1 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. English text on verso.


Condition: C

Very lovely old color. There are some edge tears and a couple of old tears (one extending 6" into the map), which appear to be very old, as the repairs on the verso incorporate pieces of text matching the printing perfectly. Close margins at sides with some chipping. The map is sound, but would benefit greatly from conservation and the value estimate takes that into consideration.

Estimate: $3,250 - $4,000

Sold for: $3,000

Closed on 12/2/2009