This wonderful 18-inch globe was crafted by renowned cartographers W. & T.M. Bardin, among the most important globemakers of early 19th-century England. Representing the celestial landscapes, the globe represents a scientific understanding of the sky that would have been invaluable to all areas of business, including shipping, geography, and especially exploration. This globe is graced with the constellations depicted as mythological figures, fantastic animals and scientific instruments. It is supported on a mahogany tri-leg pedestal and equipped with a brass meridian.
An inscription indicates that this globe belonged to Nevil Maskelyne who held the title of British Astronomer Royal for 1765 to 1811. An extremely influential scientific mind, Maskelyne was the first astronomer to measure the mass of planet Earth.
During the first half of the 19th century, the firm of W. & T. M. Bardin occupied a leading position in the manufacturing of globes in London. William Bardin began making globes around 1780, and around 1790, he began trading as W. & T. M. Bardin in partnership with his son, Thomas Marriott Bardin. Their 18-inch models like the present example were their largest, most ambitious and most desirable. A very similar 18-inch celestial globe by Bardin belongs to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History
The text in the cartouche in the southern hemisphere reads: “To the Rev. / NEVIL MASKELYNE, D.D. F.R.S. / Astronomer Royal / The New British Celestial Globe / Containing the Positions of nearly 6000 Stars, Clusters, nebulae, Planetary Nebulae &c. Correctly computed & laid down to the year 1800; from the latest observations and discoveries by Dr. Maskelyne, Dr. Herschel, The Revd. Fr. Wollafton &c. &c. / Is respectfully Dedicated by his most obedient hbl. Servants / W. & T. M. Bardin”
Marked “Manufactured & Sold Wholesale & Retail by W. & T.M. Bardin. 16 Salisbury Square Fleet Street London”
Globe with base: 24 1/8" diameter x 41 1/4" high