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A pair of desktop globes from 1783

A pair of beautiful 9 inch desktop globes have recently been acquired for the collection. The Terrestrial and Celestial globes are displayed on their original turned mahogany stands; the Terrestrial globe with a meridian ring and an attached brass pointer; the Celestial globe with meridian ring and additional moveable band.

The globes were originally laid down by Ferguson, F.R.S. improved by G. Wright and made by W. Bardin of Fleet Street, London in 1782-83.

The Bardin family was among the greatest globe makers in London from the late eighteenth through the early nineteenth century. The patriarch of the family, William Bardin (d.1798), began globe production in the 1780s.

The decorative labels on the globes claim that the globes are improved, and in a book published in 1783 Wright explains the improvements. His innovation was to print hour circles into the globes around the poles, to print the hours around the equator, and to place small brass pointers between the globe surface and the meridian ring. This allowed the globes, without hindrance of a brass hour circle attached to the meridian ring, to be inserted within their stands so that ‘the new discoveries, tracks &c. may be clearly traced by the eye over all parts of the globe in a manner more conspicuous than maps will admit of’.[1] Wright updated the cartography and added the routes of Captain James Cook's voyages of exploration between 1769 and 1779, along with the location where Cook was killed in Hawaii.

The Globes were produced by William Bardin as a promotional gift for William Frederick Martyn's The Geographical Magazine, or a New, Copious, Compleat and Universal System of Geography, which Harrison published in parts beginning January 1, 1782. Subscribers were offered a pair of globes free. The price of the magazine was 2 shillings 6 pence per month. After buying the first 20 editions readers could acquire a terrestrial globe, and after the 40th edition they could claim its partner, the celestial globe.

The Library also holds a full set of The Geographical Magazine.

A pair of terrestrial and celestial 9 inch desktop globes

A new accurate, and compleat terrestrial globe: originally laid down by the late Mr James Ferguson F.R.S., improved by G.Wright, and made by W. Bardin, 1783  GLOBE 12 and A new celestial globe, accompanying the Geographical Magazine made by W. Bardin  GLOBE 13

[1] Sumira, S. (2014). Globes : 400 years of exploration, navigation, and power / Sylvia Sumira. pp.156