M-13598: (Image: 19 x 10 7/8'') “ATLAS NOVUM ...'' Amsterdam: Chez Pierre Mortier, c. 1700. Beautiful copper-plate engraving with original hand-coloring – heightened with gold. Some cracking in paper from the old paint. Reference: Shirley #72.
This elaborate page depicts Europe receiving homage from personifications of known continents (Africa on her knees offers fine ivory tusks; America holds a large tablet wearing a headdress of colorful feathers; Europe appears behind America with her attribute the bull. Accompanying her is Cybele, the earth-goddess; Asia on Europe’s right brings a large chalice & censer).
Opposite Europe Geography holds dividers & an astrolabe slung from her waist & appearing to restrain Mars, god of War, from entering into combat.
Atlas is in the upper right rising out of a mountain while supporting the heavens which are depicted with Apollo galloping in his quadriga chariot.
Along the bottom numerous river & sea gods empty their vases of continually flowing water. Triton is seen blowing his conch horn.
''An integral part of map collecting is the study of frontispieces and title pages of atlases. They are usually very elaborate affairs, engraved by the finest craftsmen available, not only announcing the title of the volume, but enticing the viewer to look further into the pages...'' (R. B. Williams; Investing in Maps; p.147-9). ''It is important that what was once the first and most important display leaf in a valuable work should be treasured…'' (Rodney W. Shirley, The Map Collector, #46 p. 17).