Catalog Archive
Auction 132, Lot 4

"[Lot of 5 - English Title Pages]",

Subject: Title Pages

Period: 1614-1722


Color: Black & White

See Description

This lot contains title pages and frontispieces from several important English cartographic works.

1) The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine…, John Speed, 1650 (9.5 x 15") This is an elaboration of the architectural framework used by Abraham Ortelius in the Theatrum. The superstructure of pillars, pedestals and columns is intricately decorated with cupids' heads, grotesques, herms, putti and other figures. The dominate figure above the title is an indigenous Briton taken from an engraving of a Pict by John White and first published by Theodor de Bry in 1590. The four other figures in the niches represent the conquerors of Great Britain - Roman, Saxon, Danish, and Norman. Vignettes of the City of London and a ship are on the foundation along with the publisher's imprint. According to Shirley, this sheet may have been engraved by Renold Elstack due to stylistic similarities to other works he engraved for Speed. (A)
2) Heraldic frontispiece engraved by Jodocus Hondius for John Speed, 1614 (9.5 x 15") The royal coat of arms of James I fills the center of this elaborate sheet. The thirty-eight smaller heraldic shields forming the border denote all the associated kings of the ancient realm. The table of contents is printed on the verso. (A)
3) Heraldic frontispiece, by John Speed, c. 1650 (7 x 10") This is another version of the royal coat of arms of James I with a dedication on the verso. (B+)
4) William Camden Clarenceux, engraved by R. White, and published in Edmund Gibson's translation of William Camden's, Britannia: or a Chorographical Description of Great Britain and Ireland, c. 1722 (7.3 x 11.5") (A)
5) Saturni Ephemerides sive Tabula Historico-Chronologica, engraved by William Marshall and published by Henry Seile and Humphrey Robinson, 1633 (10 x 15.8") A superb title page composed in a unique type of architectural style with the columns flanking the title comprised of stacked books topped with celestial and terrestrial globes. At top Historia and Chronologia look on as Cronus devours one of his children. Trimmed into image at left with paper restoration of bottom right corner with loss of image. (B)

References: Shirley (TP) #32 & 33.


All with some minor marginal defects and soil except the last, which has some image missing.

Estimate: $200 - $400

Sold for: $180

Closed on 6/2/2010