This tapestry series consisted of five panels, including Europe, Africa, Asia, America and a panel illustrating the four Continents together (Australia had, although the Dutch landed in 1616 and the British in 1688, not really been explored until after James Cook's voyage in 1770). This version of the subject seems to have solely been woven by the van der Borght family. The presence of the weaver's signature of Jasper on one sets indicates that it was for certain designed before 1742 (D. Heinz, Europische Tapisseriekunst des 17. und 18. Jahrhunderts, Vienna, 1995, p. 209). It is believed that there were approximately nine sets made, but the only one to survive complete is in the Austrian State Collection at the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.
Jan Frans van der Borght (d. 1774) belonged to a large and famous dynasty of weavers and received his privileges in 1726. He initially worked with his father Jasper (d. 1742) and later with his younger brother Pieter (d. 1763).
A panel of identical subject, albeit smaller, was offered anonymously in these Rooms, 5 December 1947, lot 88, and a further, from the collection of Baron Henri de Rothschild, was sold Ader Picard Tajan, Paris, 22 March 1977, lot 141. A panel of this subject and of nearly identical size is illustrated in J. Boccara, Ames de Laine et de Soie, Saint-Juste-en-Chausse, 1988, p. 205, who suggests that the initials on the wrapped parcel to the foreground denotes de Hondt as the designer of the series.