CANVASES, CARATS AND CURIOSITIES

A Trip Around the World | Antique Globes

How do you get from point A to point B? In this day and age, most everyone is using updated technology and GPS to make a journey. In the broader scheme of things, GPS and smartphone apps represent an important step in the evolution of how we navigate around our planet. The history and art of world globe-making represent centuries of exploration and interest in other regions. Globes are among the most ancient
 

 

Antique Globes Throughout History

 

Explorers throughout time have studied antique globes as a way of understanding our planet. Before technology and GPS, travelers would rely on the night sky to guide them. This inspired the creation of celestial maps, used as navigational tools long before the terrestrial globe emerged. Over 2,000 years ago, Aristotle proved that the world was round by noticing the Earth's circle on the moon during an eclipse. This theory was taught until the fall of the Roman empire, and society slipped into the Dark Ages. It was not until the late 1500s-early 1600s that celestial and globe ornaments began to be created and used.

 
The emergence of the globe's popularity during the 15th and 16th centuries saw an interest in something other than navigation. Flat maps were the preferred practical method for charting territories. So, instead of understanding the lay of the land or charting new discoveries, the earliest globes were given to powerful rulers as a symbolic recognition of their control over their regions. Moving into the 17th century, the function of globes remained the same. England saw a rise in pocket globes as well as standard ones as prized decorative items symbolizing status and wealth.
 

After the discovery of the Americas, there was an upsurge of interest in exploration and geography. The production of terrestrial globes and world maps with detailed information on new areas were useful means of notifying the public of what had been discovered. The emergence of the classroom as we recognize it today in the 19th century also resulted in a keen interest in globes as a means to teach the youth of our planet. Smaller globes intended for children began to be manufactured.

 

 


21-Inch Celestial & Terrestrial Globes by Newton & Son

 

 

 

Notable Examples of Antique Globes

 


This pair of globes, crafted by John and William Cary circa 1816 and 1821, would have served as a source for knowledge and conversation starter. John and William Cary are regarded as some of the greatest British globe makers of the late Georgian period, highlighting a beautiful and artistic style in each one of their vintage globe pieces. The terrestrial globe provides the most current geographical understanding of the time, while the celestial globe represents an accurate representation of the stars. The terrestrial globe also includes facts discovered during recent expeditions to the North Pole. Set in their Regency-era mahogany stands, each globe has aged to a beautiful patina and would make a fabulous addition to any tabletop.

 

 


John and William Cary Table Globes

 

 


This pair of globes, crafted by John and William Cary circa 1816 and 1821, would have served as a source for knowledge and conversation starter. John and William Cary are regarded as some of the greatest British globe makers of the late Georgian period. The terrestrial globe provides the most current geographical understanding of the time, while the celestial globe represents an accurate representation of the stars. The terrestrial globe also includes facts discovered during recent expeditions to the North Pole. Set in their Regency-era mahogany stands, each globe has aged to a beautiful patina and would make a fabulous addition to any tabletop.

 

 


Dutch Terrestrial Table Globe by Gerard Valk

 

 

This one-of-a-kind terrestrial globe was crafted by the hand of Dutch cartographer Gerard Valk. Referred to as a cosmotheore, this particular globe has a hyper-detailed rendering of the Earth's landmasses and bodies of water. The exceptional map object not only provides an understanding of the earth's surface as it was understood at the time, but also features important landmarks, ports, and Native American tribal land, all in an artistic style. What is perhaps most notable about this antique globe is that the outline of the Pacific Northwest spanning from Alaska to Russia is labeled "Terra Incognita," as much of the highlighted land was not yet understood.

 

Whether you are looking for a fantastic tool of scientific knowledge or an attractive map accessory for your desk, an antique globe is undoubtedly an exceptional addition for any collector. Although we have access to GPS in the modern age, nothing is as impressive as being able to hold the world in your hands.

 

Looking to add a travel-related collectible to your home collection? Shop our stunning collection of antique globes here.

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