|Method||Copper engraved with hand colour|
|Dimensions||422 x 530 mm|
A superb and historically significant map of the British Isles at the time of the Anglo-Saxon heptarchy, engraved by Jansson for a Dutch edition of his Atlas Novus. The map, first published in 1646, is a very close copy of the map issued by Jan Jansson's competitor Joan Blaeu the previous year, which in turn was based on the John Speed map of the Heptarchy from 1611. The main difference between the Dutch examples and the Speed map are the vignettes down the left and right margins, which, while unchanged in terms of subject, have been re-engraved in a distinctively ornate Dutch manner. The Heptarchy map featured in all of Jansson's editions of the Atlas Novus after 1646, and was also included in his classical atlas after 1652.
The map itself shows the whole of Great Britain, along with the eastern half of Ireland, and a small section of Gallia (France) in the bottom right. The borders of Wales, Scotland, and Ireland are relatively unchanged from Jansson's contemporary seventeenth century, though Scotland features a pair of armorials for the 'Kingdom of the Scots' in the north and the 'Kingdom of the Picts' in the south. The biggest difference cartographically is the division of England into the seven Anglo-Saxon kingdoms active during the 5th to 7th centuries. Each features an armorial crest and important towns are picked out in red. Compass roses and sailing ships decorate the seas around the islands, and the title is enclosed in a baroque strapwork cartouche supported by a pair of winged cherubs and surmounted by a seven-sceptred crown. The large figural panels to the left and right of the map show the kings of the seven kingdoms. The seven pagan kings, Hengist, Aella, Cerdic, Aescwine, Ida, Wuffa, and Creoda, as well as the foundation dates of their respective kingdoms, are included along the left hand margin, while the right hand panel shows the conversion or matyrdom of the kings associated with the spread of Christianity in the Anglo Saxon period: Aethelbert, Saeberht, Eorpwald, Edwin, Cynegils, Peada, and Aethelwealh.
Johannes Janssonius (1588 - 1664) was a famed cartographer and print publisher. More commonly known as Jan Jansson, he was born in Arnhem where his father, Jan Janszoon the Elder, was a bookseller and publisher. In 1612 he married the daughter of the cartographer and publisher Jodocus Hondius, and then set up in business in Amsterdam as a book publisher. In 1616 he published his first maps of France and Italy and from then onwards, produced a very large number of maps which went some way to rival those of the Blaeu family, who held a virtual monopoly over the industry. From about 1630 to 1638 he was in partnership with his brother-in-law, Henricus Hondius, issuing further editions of the Mercator/Hondius atlases to which his name was added. On the death of Hondius he took over the business, expanding the atlas still further, until eventually he published an eleven volume Atlas Major on a scale similar to Johannes Blaeu's magnum opus. After Jansson's death, his heirs published a number of maps in the Atlas Contractus of 1666, and, later still, many of the plates of his British maps were acquired by Pieter Schenk and Gerard Valck, who published them again in 1683 as separate maps.
Condition: Pressed central vertical fold, as issued. Waterstaining to margins. Chips and small tears to edges of sheet. Dutch text on verso. Framed in a handmade antique style frame.