Terrestrial 30-inch Globe by W. & A.K. Johnston

  • This monumental 30-inch terrestrial globe was crafted by W. & A.K. Johnston
  • W. & A.K. Johnston was one of the most renowned globe producers of the late 19th century
  • This was the largest globe the Johnston firm ever created, winning numerous awards
  • The surface area is a remarkable 525% larger than that of a more typical 12-inch globe
  • Get complete item description here
Item No. 31-3358

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Measuring a monumental 30 inches in diameter, this impressive globe was crafted by the renowned firm W. & A.K. Johnston. Founded in 1825, the Johnston firm is considered the foremost globe manufacturer of the second half of the 19th century, and this model was their crowning achievement as the largest they ever created. The entire surface area of a 30-inch globe is 525% larger than that of the average 12-inch globe, making its construction an extraordinary feat of artistry and craftsmanship. Enveloped in accurately detailed maps of the earth's surface with extensive annotations for cities, this globe is among the largest and most attractive on the market today.

Spheres of such grand scale were incredibly expensive to create. At a time when the world’s map was constantly changing, it proved to be much more cost-effective to update one's plates than to buy an entirely new globe. Though it was likely created decades earlier in the 1850s, this globe was last updated around 1890. It is held within a unique walnut and brass stand of exceptional quality, decorated with neoclassical carvings including lions' masks and acanthus leaves.

The Johnston brothers, William and Alexander Keith, both worked for leading Scottish globe manufacturer James Kirkwood until the Great Fire of 1824 destroyed the firm. In 1825, William founded his own firm and was soon joined by his brother the following year, providing their combined services as geographers, engravers and printers. They quickly rose to the forefront of British globe manufacturing, receiving a royal appointment from Queen Victoria. In 1851, at the Great Exhibition, the brothers introduced their 30-inch globe design, the first of its kind ever produced in the British Isles. The firm remained intact even after the brothers' deaths and continued to produce spectacular globes well into the early 20th century.

The globe bears the Johnston cartouche
Globe and base circa 1851; map circa 1890

Globe: 30" diameter
Base: 38" diameter x 47" high
Terrestrial 30-inch Globe by W. & A.K. Johnston
Maker: W. & A.K. Johnston
Period: 19th Century
Origin: England
Type: Globes & Maps
Depth: 38.0 Inches
Width: 38.0 Inches
Height: 47.0 Inches
Style: Victorian
Terrestrial 30-inch Globe by W. & A.K. Johnston
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