t: 07739 847964


7th Dec 2022
John Speed 1623 map of Norfolk estimate 300 350 sm

A 400 year old map of Norfolk in pristine condition is to go under the hammer in Aylsham next week.

The 1623 map of the county, printed on paper, is by John Speed, who was one of the leading mapmakers of the Elizabethan era, working from a room in the Custom House in London courtesy of direct permission of Queen Elizabeth herself.

The framed map of Norfolk includes all of the ‘hundreds’ – the areas into which the county was divided for administrative purposes.  It is up for auction in Keys Auctioneers and Valuers’ two day Book and Ephemera Sale on Thursday 15th December and Friday 16th December.  It has a pre-sale estimate of £300-£350.

“This is as good a condition Speed map as I have ever seen at auction,” said Andrew Lindsey-Bullock, head of books at Keys.  “Often maps are folded and become frayed along the fold, but this one has clearly been kept flat for four centuries.

“It is fascinating to see how much has changed in our county in 400 years.  Many of the suburbs of Norwich which we regard as part of the city were very separate settlements, including Sprowston, Lakenham, Catton and Bowthorpe.”

The Speed map of Norfolk was published during the reign of King James I, who was son of Mary, Queen of Scots, and who in 1605 was the intended target of Guy Fawkes’ Gunpowder Plot.

Keys two day Book and Ephemera Sale takes place at the firm’s Aylsham salerooms and live online on Thursday 15th December and Friday 16th December.  Full details of every lot in the sale can be found at www.keysauctions.co.uk.