Catalog Archive
Auction 146, Lot 398

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

Subject: Britain

Period: 1676 (circa)

Publication: Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine

Color: Hand Color

20 x 15 inches
50.8 x 38.1 cm
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This famous map of the Saxon kingdoms is 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. 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 Bassett and Chiswell. English text on verso with an extensive explanation.

References: Shirley (BL Atlases) T.SPE-1b; Shirley (MCC-97) #317; Moreland & Bannister p. 215.

Condition: B+

Crisp impression and attractive color on watermarked paper with good margins. There are a few light spots in the image and a faint printer's crease adjacent to the centerfold along the lower half of the map. There is light soiling and foxing confined to the blank margins and remnants of paper tape on verso.

Estimate: $3,500 - $4,250

Sold for: $2,500

Closed on 9/4/2013