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National Museum of Australia

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Celestial and terrestrial pocket globe, entitled: 'A correct globe with the new discoveries',

2014.0053.0001

Celestial and terrestrial pocket globe, entitled: 'A correct globe with the new discoveries',

Object information

Description

Terrestrial pocket globe, [12] engraved gores with original hand colour over papier-maché and plaster sphere, small areas of expert repair to the North Pole and Caribbean, two metal pins resting in the globe in the original publisher's shagreen case, with engraved gores of celestial maps titled 'A Correct Globe with ye New constellations of Dr. Halley &c.' The constellations are depicted by mythical beasts and figures with stars to six orders of magnitude.

Physical description

A papier-maché and plaster map globe in a shagreen case. The globe is spherical with small metal rods protruding from both the North and South Pole. It is shiny and the glaze is yellowing. The case is also spherical and it is dark coloured on the outside. The inside is lined with a celestial map. The case opens with a hinge attaching the two halves. The rims of each half are painted red.

Statement of significance

The Celestial and Terrestrial pocket globe collection consists of one papier-maché and plaster pocket globe and matching shagreen case. Engraved map gores with original hand colouring cover the globe, which retains the two brass pins that allow it to spin within its case. The interior of the case is lined with the engraved and hand coloured gores of a celestial map entitled 'A Correct Globe with ye New constellations of Dr. Halley &c.' The globe and case are attributed to George Adams, dated to 1773, and are both in good condition.

The use of terrestrial and celestial globes dates back to Classical Antiquity. Unlike flat maps, terrestrial globes can show the shape and position of continents and oceans without distortion. Increasing interest in the production and purchase of globes accompanied the upsurge in voyages of discovery from the late 15th century. The pocket globe was introduced to England by Joseph Moxon in the mid-1650s 'to keep in memory the situation of Countries and Orders of Constellations and particular Stars'. As Britain's naval power grew in the 18th century, the interest of the British in maps documenting their nation's discoveries, colonies and achievements also grew. By 1773 the tracks of James Cook's first Pacific voyage were beginning to appear on British-made globes. Cook's celebrity arising from his subsequent voyages of discovery and his 'heroic' death in 1779 ensured that globes produced into the 19th century continued to record his achievements even when the maps themselves were long out of date.

Object information

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