"[Atlas Historique Volume V]", Chatelain, Henry Abraham
Period: 1719 (dated)
Color: Black & White
9.3 x 15.6 inches
23.6 x 39.6 cm
This allegorical frontispiece to volume V of Atlas Historique, drawn and engraved by Bernard Picart, illustrates the themes of exploration, commerce and communications. The continents are depicted as female figures. Asia, with a turban, sits holding a fuming censer with a camel standing behind her. Africa sits next to Asia with a lion sleeping at her feet. Standing before both of them is a female representing both North and South America, complete with armlets, leg bands, a feathered headdress, and a bow and arrows. Her left foot sits atop a severed head that has been punctured by a spear. The figure standing in the center is Navigation, who holds a steering rudder and cloth. In the skies above flies Mercury, with his traditional winged helmet, winged anklets and caduceus. The French prose below the scene touts the riches of Asia, Africa and the Americas.
References: Shirley (TP) #76A.
A sharp impression on a bright sheet with minor marginal soiling.