A superb and very rare miniature terrestrial globe with a diameter of 11 cm. Comprised of 12 fully engraved gores, enclosed in a sheep-skin-covered case, each half applied on the inner side with 12 celestial half-gores. The globe fits snugly and exactly inside the leather case, which can be closed with 2 small attached metal hooks.
CONDITION: The globe is in excellent condition, with only a little work done to the two poles. The outer casing of sheepskin is highly polished with only minimal signs of wear which is to be expected.
BACKGROUND: In 1758, a cosmographical society (The Kosmografiska sallskapet / The Cosmographic Society) was founded in Uppsala, with the sole aim of publishing treatises, and beginning the manufacture of globes. The society published books, but these books contained no maps. In 1759, Anders Akerman (a member of the society) and the copper engraver for the ‘Kungliga vetenskaps-Societeten i Uppsala’ (The Royal Society of Science in Uppsala) produced a pair of globes – the first to be published in Sweden, with a diameter of 30cm. The celestial globe proudly showed the new reindeer constellation (important in Saami astral mythology), now named ‘Reno’. Ãkerman also studied mathematics at Uppsala University. He began his globe business in 1759 and quickly became well known for the high quality of his workmanship. Tragedy struck when his Uppsala workshop suffered a catastrophic fire in 1766, after which it moved to Stockholm. After Ackerman’s death in 1778, globes continued to be made under his name right up until 1824.
THE GLOBES: The terrestrial globe has an equatorial line graduated by degrees, plus a similar graduated ecliptical line running diagonally across the globe and one final line running from pole to pole. The globe has original hand coloring, in shades of green for Africa, the Caribbean, North, and Central America, and a rose pink for Western Europe and South America. The rest of the world is curiously left uncolored. The language of the globe is in Latin, and the cartography is accurate with consistent with many contemporary sources. North America is roughly divided into its colonial regions; ‘Nova Anglia’ all along the east coast; ‘Nouvelle France’ for much of the mid-west, and ‘Mexico’ for much of the southern and western portions of America. Florida still lies within the Spanish Empire, although, in the year after this globe was produced, it was signed over to Great Britain as part of the ‘Treaty of Paris’ after GB and Prussia won a victory over France and Spain during the Seven Years’ War. Significantly, California is no longer erroneously mapped as an island, the American midwest and the upper northwest are seen as vast unmapped and unexplored regions left entirely blank, and open to any amount of speculation and conjecture, until the expeditions of Lewis and Clark in the next century. The same lack of detail applies to much of Canada beyond the northeast coast. South America is divided up into regional countries and zones, with the Amazon being especially prominent.
The exploration tracks of adventurous European explorers traverse the globe, they are denoted by dotted lines and are named at dated wherever known. Australia (Nova Hollandia) is still shown with an imaginary, dotted eastern coastline, stretching up into Papua New Guinea. Sections of the southern coastline do not meet, and only the southern tip of Tasmania (Terra Diemeni) is engraved. All that is engraved is almost entirely that of earlier Dutch discoveries, made in the early to the mid-seventeenth century. New Zealand (Nova Zelandia) has the merest amount of engraving, awaiting the discovery of Cook; not many years into the future from when this globe was produced. As one might expect, the vast Pacific region is mostly blank with only a few island chains named, again that region awaits further discovery by the British and the French later in the century. Africa is well mapped with regional information given where known. A large lake named Maravi is prominent in what is today Malawi, Zambia, and Mozambique. Major rivers and a few regional borders are delineated. Asia is limited to a series of larger rivers, lakes, and islands. Only regional or area names are mentioned, however, there are tracks of the exploration of Bering dated 1741 and the very beginnings of an Alaskan coastline. Japan, although still misshapen, is better engraved than in previous years. In the Indian Ocean, wind arrows tell of the trade winds that operate there, and in South East Asia there are identical trade wind arrows seen in the South China Sea. Many islands and island groups, both large and small, are mapped and named. The globe, if viewed from above the North Pole, sees all of northern Europe, Russian Siberia, Greenland (misshapen), Iceland, the island of Spitsbergen, Baffin Bay, and Hudson’s Bay, together with large tracts of unfilled land representing northern Canada and northwest America. The South Pole is unsurprisingly largely blank with only the very southern tips of South America (Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego) and southern Australia and New Zealand for companionship.
Europe extends westward to Russia, or ‘Russia in Europe’, and runs from Greece and Constantinople in the south, north to Archangel within the Arctic Circle, westwards across Scandinavia and Central Europe, and then south to the shores of the Mediterranean Sea.
CELESTIAL GLOBE: The celestial globes, housed within the sheep-skin casing are copperplate and filled with astronomic information. They show the apparent positions of the stars in the heavens but they omit the Sun, Moon, and the Planets because the positions of these bodies vary relative to those of the stars, however, the ecliptic, along which the Sun moves, is included. They represent both the northern and southern skies and have the signs of the zodiac, the stars, and the constellations. The zodiac is usually divided into twelve signs, each occupying 30 degrees of celestial longitude, roughly corresponding to the constellations. The Sun spends around one month on each sign.
This is a unique opportunity to acquire an extremely desirable globe in outstanding condition, one that is very rarely, if ever offered on the market. It is the first globe ever to be produced by a Swede, and in this condition, it may well be considered a must-have item.