The State Library recently acquired several geographical games and globes from Douglas Stewart Fine Books at the Australian & New Zealand Association of Antiquarian Booksellers (ANZAAB) Rare Book Fair. They provide a great insight into the way that European children learned about Australia and other far-flung lands in the early 19th century.
This collapsible folding paper globe, entitled Globe artificiel et mecanique a l’usage du Petit Geographe, was produced in Paris in about 1825. The globe was designed to 'pop up' when the upper and lower cords were pulled simultaneously. Australia is depicted as Nouvelle Holland. The southern coast is labelled Terre de Grant and central Australia is described as peu connus (little known). One can imagine French school children catching their first glimpse of New Holland on this globe. Similarly, the geographical board games Voyage dans les cinq parties du monde (ca. 1840) and Nouveau jeu de Loto. Geographique et universel (1850) taught French children about distant lands including Australia.
Another highlight of the Douglas Stewart Fine Books acquisition is Carl Johann Sigmund Bauer's miniature globe, The Earth and its inhabitants. Produced in Nuremberg circa 1840, this fascinating hand-coloured globe is no more than 50 mm in diameter. Ours is the English-language edition. The globe's box features an intriguing foldout showing 24 ethnic groups of the world, including the Newsealander and the Sandwich Islander.
We are delighted to provide a permanent home for these geographical treasures in Australia.