A pair of rare Valk table globes published by Gerard and Leonard Valk in Amsterdam in 1700 and 1750. The Dutch globe makers Gerard Valk (1652-1726) and his son Leonard Valk (1675-1746) were the only significant publishers of globes in the Netherlands in the eighteenth century. The design of their globes was completely new and incorporated the latest geographical and astronomical discoveries and are hence the most accurate globes for that time. Valk completed his present 15-inch. (39 cm) globes in 1707 and the copper plates went through several states over the years. The terrestrial globe is here in what Van der Krogt calls state 3 (with the date changed to 1750 by pasting a slip over the “45” of the “1745” in state 2). Leonard Valk made the most important revision to the 1707 topographic image sometime between 1730 and 1745 when he revised the Caspian Sea and the Aral Sea based on a new mapping. The celestial globe is in state 2 (as published ca. 1711, when Leonards name was added to his father’s, but it was not further revised until 1745). The Valks apparently numbered each globe they made, stamping the number on the back of the brass meridian ring near the north pole and beginning a new series when the plate was revised. The present terrestrial globe is numbered “3”; the meridian ring of the celestial globe is not original and bears no number. They apparently made very few of these globes, for in the present states Van der Krogt records no numbers higher than 10 for the terrestrial globe or 7 for the globe. The present pair forms a beautiful example of the outstanding work of the Dutch Valk family as globe makers.
Each globe was made up of two hollow paper-maché hemispheres joined at the equator and covered with a layer of plaster, the whole covered with eighteen engraved gores and two polar calottes, the celestial calottes on the ecliptic poles. The equator is graduated in individual degrees, the ecliptic in individual days of the houses of the Zodiac with sigils. Each globe has a brass meridian ring and hour dial with a hand-coloured printed paper ring on the wooden horizon ring, showing degrees and the days of the houses of the Zodiac. Each globe supported by four columns with bun feet on a Dutch-style oak stand connected by cross-stretchers supporting a circular base plate, with support for the meridian ring at its centre. Including the oak stand, each globe has a height of 59 cm (23 inches).
The last two digits of the year on the terrestrial globe have been nearly obliterated, but one can see that they were formerly covered with a slip, as expected in state 3. The celestial globe has a new stand, a later hour dial and brass meridian ring and its paper horizon ring is in facsimile. Some minor paper repairs in Ethiopia (terrestrial globe) have been professionally restored. Overall in good condition. An extraordinary, eye-catching set of these rare globes.
Literature:Van der Krogt, Globi Neerlandici, pp. 313-331, 555-557, globes VAL III T state 3 (4 copies: numbered 2, 4, 8 & 10) & VAL III C state 2 (4 copies, numbered 2, 6, 7 & one unnumbered).