Public holiday: the Library will be open on 3 October. View opening hours

Terrestrial and celestial globes

Two beautiful globes have been purchased for the Library's collection. They are Cary’s new terrestrial globe …shewing the whole of the new discoveries with the tracks of the principal navigators, London, 7 January 1832 and Cary’s new celestial globe … whole of the stars and nebulae contained in the catalogues of Herschel, Bode, Prazzi, Koch.

John Cary founded his company in London in 1792 and became one of the most prominent map makers of his day. Rather than concentrating on decorative features, his maps were part of the new generation of cartographers whose focus was geographical accuracy.

Celestial and terrestrial globes were almost always sold in pairs, though matching pairs are quite rare today.  Two Globes

These are a pair of table globes (380 mm in diameter), overall height 540 mm. Each is made up from 12 sets of gores, complete with brass meridian circles and hour rings, on original mahogany stands. 

The terrestrial globe is annotated with navigational routes of several early Pacific explorers, notably Cook and Flinders, Butler, Furneaux, La Perouse and Vancouver.  All three Cook voyages are shown with the location of his death marked in the Sandwich Islands. 

The celestial globe includes all the figures of the constellations.  It also illustrates knowledge of the stars and constellations of the Southern Hemisphere to 1820, including the discoveries of Edmund Halley and Abbe de Lacaille.  Cary's New Celestial Globe



Whilst the dates on cartouches of the two globes differ, both globes have gores with Wilmott paper watermarks dated 1830.

Images courtesy of Hordern House Rare Books


Elise Edmonds, Librarian, Maps Section