Miniature terrestrial pocket globe in a red painted cardboard case.



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SKU: 12595 POCKET GLOBE | Newton & Berry Categories: , , , Tags: ,

Miniature terrestrial globe with a diameter of 1,5 inches / 3,8 cm.

This lovely miniature terrestrial globe consists of twelve copper engraved, hand coloured gores over a plaster and papier-mache base. The gores are varnished. The colouring is both subtle and original. The simple title is found in the North Pacific Ocean. Two metal pinions or pivots stand out from both poles and correspondingly fit into ready-made nitches in the globe case. The globe features the tropics of Capricorn and Cancer, it shows the Equator and the Elliptical Circle. It marks the tracks of Capt. James Cook’s third voyage of 1776. The globe is in fine overall condition, with only minor surface abrasions and some paper loss to some gores – most noticeably around the Poles, the Eastern Ocean around Keeling Island, and Western Australia.

The globe is housed in its original red-painted compressed cardboard case (4.8cm). The case is lightly rubbed and worn in places with distinctive dark inkspots. It has its original hook, clasp, and hinge. The globe fits nicely into its case via a pair of semi-circular niches. The continents are coloured differently in soft pastel shades to aid or ease identification. Considering the small size of this miniature globe, there is a surprising amount of detail – rivers, bays, capes, islands – all a testament to the engraver’s skill and craftmanship, and the art of the globemaker. The continent of Asia shows the vast sprawling Russian Empire, Siberia, Tibet, Tartary, Persia, Pegu, China, Japan, and South East Asia. Due to obvious space limitations, only a few place names are recorded (Nanking, Tobolsk, Ispahan) together with a few significant items of note concerning physical geography. (The Black Sea, The Caspian Sea, the Blue River, the Sandy Desert, and the Great Wall of China.) The Arabian peninsular is simply described as ‘Desert’ and ‘Sand’. The African continent shows the regions of Barbary, Nubia, Nigritia, Caffararia, and the Hottentots, plus Angola, Egypt, Abyssinia, Guinea, and Ethiopia. The Blue and Nile Rivers are engraved, and the Sahara Desert is named only as the ‘Great Desert’. Australia is named ‘New Holland’ as befits its Dutch beginnings, and it has little visual detail. The entire eastern coast is ‘New South Wales’, and a few points of historical importance are noted in Western Australia (Sharks Bay, Cockburn Sound, de Witts, Cape Dampier). Tasmania (Van Diemens Land) is shown correctly as an island state and is no longer joined to the mainland. Many Pacific and Southeast Asian islands are named and shown.

Interestingly, Antarctica the continent is not named nor engraved, but the Antarctic Circle is. The Indian Ocean is named as the Eastern Ocean. Europe names some countries (Hungary, France, Germany, Italy…), but not unsurprisingly names only one city – of London. In the Arctic, the North Pole is named and Greenland extends right up into its reaches. North America only mentions the prominent cities of New York and Washington D.C., Alaska is still known as ‘Russian America’ as this globe was published 36 years before its purchase by the United States government for $7.2 million in 1867. The Canadian regions of Labrador and Newfoundland are named, as is the United States area of Louisiana. The name ‘United States’ features only in the lower southeast portion of greater North America in general. South America is still a mixture of regions (La Plata, Terre Firma) and, countries we know today (Brazil, Chile, Peru, Guiana). Places identified are Olinda, Rio de Janeiro, Quito, Buenos Aires, and Lima. All the oceans are named in some form or another, as are the myriad number of smaller and larger island groups that inhabit them.

This is a wonderful opportunity to acquire a fascinating tiny miniature terrestrial globe from one of England’s, and by extension Europe’s, premier globe makers and cartographers of the nineteenth century. A little about miniature globes: The miniature or pocket globe was a British invention, introduced to the world by Joseph Moxon in 1673 when he produced a 3-inch globe. To own a pocket globe is to have the whole world in miniature. Pocket globes were never to be taken very seriously – they never served any practical purpose; their size makes accurate calculations impossible, and they tend to lack the rings and dials for most common manipulations. No, they were seen more as a status symbol, or a lovely decorative artistic artefact to reside on a gentleman’s desk or small table. There is a school of thought that some of the cheaper pocket globes may have aided children’s education. Today, they reflect a lost and never-to-be-forgotten age of exploration and discovery. The heyday or peak time for the pocket globe was the late 18th century.