Decorative map of the British Isles, showing the Saxon Kingdoms of Britain in the 5th to 6th Centuries.
Jansson's Saxon Heptarchy map is drawn directly from Joan Blaeu's map of the same title published in 1645, but can be readily distinguished from Blaeu's map by the addition of 3 compass roses, rhumb lines and sailing ships. Blaeu, in turn, based his map upon John Speed's map of 1611, which incorporates the two sets of vignettes on either side of the map, showing historical scenes in Saxon history between 456 and 662 A.D. The vignettes have been completely redone by a Dutch engraver and are in the grand style of contemporary Dutch paintings.
One of the most decorative and sought-after atlas maps of Great Britain published in the 17th century.
Jan Janssonius (also known as Johann or Jan Jansson or Janszoon) (1588-1664) was a renowned geographer and publisher of the seventeenth century, when the Dutch dominated map publishing in Europe. Born in Arnhem, Jan was first exposed to the trade via his father, who was also a bookseller and publisher. In 1612, Jan married the daughter of Jodocus Hondius, who was also a prominent mapmaker and seller. Jonssonius’ first maps date from 1616.
In the 1630s, Janssonius worked with his brother-in-law, Henricus Hondius. Their most successful venture was to reissue the Mercator-Hondius atlas. Jodocus Hondius had acquired the plates to the Mercator atlas, first published in 1595, and added 36 additional maps. After Hondius died in 1612, Henricus took over publication; Janssonius joined the venture in 1633. Eventually, the atlas was renamed the Atlas Novus and then the Atlas Major, by which time it had expanded to eleven volumes. Janssonius is also well known for his volume of English county maps, published in 1646.
Janssonius died in Amsterdam in 1664. His son-in-law, Johannes van Waesbergen, took over his business. Eventually, many of Janssonius’ plates were sold to Gerard Valck and Pieter Schenk, who added their names and continued to reissue the maps.