Catalog Archive
Auction 182, Lot 471

"Merionethshire Described", Speed, John

Subject: Northern Wales

Period: 1713 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

19.9 x 15 inches
50.5 x 38.1 cm

This excellent map of Merionethshire includes an inset of Harlech. The map graphically depicts the rugged countryside, which was one of the most desolate and poorest counties in Wales at the time. It is further decorated with two coats of arms, a compass rose, sea monsters, sailing ships, and a siren. The bottom corners are adorned with strapwork cartouches showing the distance scale and imprint, respectively. This is a later example published by Henry Overton, who acquired the plates around 1713 from Christopher Browne. Still, the imprint of Bassett and Chiswell is visible with a line running through it. Blank verso.

John Speed is best known for this important atlas of Great Britain, which is considered the finest achievement in British map-making. Speed assembled the information for this atlas based on the work of Christopher Saxton and John Norden, updated with new information. He also introduced innovations of his own including the inclusion of town plans, indications of the hundreds, county boundaries, and the coats of arms of local Earls and Dukes. The maps were finely engraved by Jodocus Hondius, one of the preeminent engravers of the period.

References: cf. Shirley (BL Atlases) T.SPE-1l.

Condition: A

A nice impression on watermarked paper with very light offsetting. The map has been backed with archival tissue on verso to repair some small chips in the margins.

Estimate: $350 - $425

Sold for: $250

Closed on 4/28/2021