Recently our archive collection was valued, and one item was discovered of particular note – John Speed’s Atlas; The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britain. Speed was a noted cartographer of his time and produced many maps and Atlases such as this. Printed in 1616 this book is older than the school itself! Its connection with the school is unknown and so it was decided it would be better to sell it and use the funds to support future students.
Bonhams handled the sale at their Knightsbridge auction house. The Atlas joined a large collection of rare fine books, other atlases, manuscripts and photographs. Most notably were two signed first editions of Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone by J K Rowling, a hand written note on headed paper from the Titanic sent shortly before she sailed, original sketches and designs by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, and even a first edition of Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. So our book was in good company!
The final selling price was a staggering £10,000! It was sold to an overseas collector for their private collection, so I am sure it will be well looked after in its new home.
This money will go towards assisted places for future KEHS students.
We have retained a digital copy for anyone who would like to view it.