M-13597: (Image: 18 ¾ x 13 3/4'') “ATLAS UNIVERSEI ...’’ Robert De Vaugondy. Amsterdam: Charles Francois Delamarche, c. 1757 (signed by engraver Jean Charles Baquoy lower right). Beautiful copper-plate engraving with old hand-coloring. Reference Shirley #87 (Santini variant; last paragraph references this first edition).
A very elaborate title page with the personifications of the four continents! Upper right is America shown with a muscular Amazon with her bow and sheaf of feathered arrows. Her headband is also decorated with feathers. A puma or bear snarls at her feet.
Lower right is Europe represented by Minerva (who also represents Wisdom) with helmet at feet and holding a scepter. At her feet is a caduceus. A horse is seen leaping out of the shield on which her right arm rests.
Lower left is Asia with a bejeweled turban and wearing a fur-lined robe. A camel is behind her.
Upper left is Africa holding a long ivory tusk and seated on a lion.
At the top the sun-god Apollo (or Helios) steers a chariot drawn by four white horses. According to folklore, Apollo’s son Phaethon steered the horses too close to the earth over Africa, burning black all the people there. The figure of Africa can be seen shielding her eyes in fear of the approaching quadriga.
The lower center depicts six putti frolicking around the globe: one holding a tracing pen and another pair of dividers.