This extremely rare pair of 21-inch English globes was made by renowned cartographers John Newton and Son, the most important globe makers of early 19th-century England. Representing the terrestrial and celestial landscapes, the pair represents a scientific understanding of the world and sky that would have been invaluable to all areas of business, including shipping, geography, and especially exploration. To own these globes was to have a wealth of information at one’s fingertips.
Newton and Son were one of the few firms to combine scientific instruments with their globes, and in this pair, compasses are set in each of the mahogany bases. These globes are even more unusual for their size: not only were globes rarely crafted with a 21-inch diameter, but the surface area of a globe this size is an incredible 307% larger than that of a more common 12-inch globe.
Set into turned and carved tripartite stands, the globes feature engraved brass hour dials at each pole, stamped brass meridian circles, and papered horizon rings with amplitude degrees. The terrestrial globe is marked with the latest discoveries of the period, including indications for natural resources and other geographical elements. The celestial globe is graced with the constellations depicted as mythological figures, fantastic animals and scientific instruments.
The terrestrial globe bears the inscription “Newton’s New and Improved Terrestrial Globe, Accurately Delineated from the observations of the most esteemed Navigators and Travellers, to the Present Time/ Manufactured by Newton & Son, 66 Chancery Lane & 3 Fleet Street, Temple Bar, London, Published 1st January 1857” in a plaque. The celestial globe is thusly marked: “New and Improved Newton’s Celestial Globe, On which all the Stars Nebulae and Clusters contained in the extensive Catalogue of the late F. Wollaston, F.R.S. are accurately laid down, their Right Ascensions & Declinations having been recalculated for the year 1830 by W. Newton/ Manufactured by Newton & Son, 66 Chancery Lane, London”.
The firm of Newton & Son is considered to be among the leading manufacturers of fine 19th-century globes and are well represented in museums around the world. During the 19th century, the firm, led by the Newton family of cartographers, occupied a leading position the production of globes in London, crafting floor standing, table and pocket globes. Its founder was John Newton, the product of generations of globe making apprenticeships. Founded in 1780, Newton & Son published its first globe in 1783, a pocket globe using copper plates struck by the legendary Nathaniel Hill in 1754.
27” diameter x 46” high