“The Province of Connaught ” 1646 by John Speed (1542 – 1629). Full recent hand colour. 15″ x 20″ (37 cm x 50 cm). Map Ref 25 Speed is recognized as the finest cartographer these islands every produced and his maps are in huge demand. Cambridge University Library describes John Speed’s ” Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine ” (1611/1612)”as one of the world’s great cartographic treasures. His town plans were a major innovation and probably his greatest contribution to British cartography. Together, they formed the first printed collection of town plans of the British Isles and, for at least 50 of the 73 included in the Theatre , it was the first time these towns had been mapped. The Theatre was an immediate success: the first print run of around 500 copies must have sold quickly because many editions followed and, by the time of the 1627 edition, the atlas cost 40 shillings. It was a supreme achievement in British cartography. It made John Speed into one of the most famous of all our map-makers and became the blueprint for folio atlases until the mid-18 th century.” The map is in excellent condition except for slight thinning to reverse at bottom right .