''TABLE DES CARTES etc: Du Sr. SANSSON ...'' Amsterdam: Chez Pierre Mortier, c. 1700. Beautiful copper-plate engraving with original hand-coloring. Paper backed (long ago) for strengthening. (Image: 20 ¾ x 16 ¾'')
One of the most famous and recognizable illustrated Table of Contents page! This elaborate page depicts the listing of maps surrounded by allegorical figures (including Zeus with his bolts of lightning, Atlas supporting a terrestrial globe on his shoulders, a female figure standing next to a celestial globe, and a winged female blowing a trumpet). Along the bottom is a view of scholars in a Renaissance Library, discussing and researching the new discoveries.
''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).