Pocket globe

A correct globe with the new discoveries
A correct globe with ye new constelations of Dr Halley &c
London, ca 1775
Royal Commonwealth Society ORCS.1.01

The pocket terrestrial globe is just seven centimetres in diameter and is made of papier mâché with a plaster coating, over which the paper gores—printed from a copper plate and hand coloured—have been affixed. Its protective case is covered with sharkskin and lined with celestial gores. The whole item is an updated and adapted version of a pocket globe published by Herman Moll in 1719.

Pocket globes were first produced in England by Joseph Moxon (1627–1691) and they remained in vogue as a gentleman’s toy well into the nineteenth century. Commonly—as with the example displayed here—they showed the latest terrestrial and celestial discoveries. The track of Lieutenant James Cook’s First Voyage from 1768 to 1771 in HM Bark Endeavour is shown (though incorrectly dated 1760) and the depiction of New Zealand reflects the discoveries he made. Note that Dimens Land (Van Diemen’s Land, later renamed Tasmania) is joined to the Australian mainland—it was not known by Europeans to be an island until 1798. Interestingly the track of Cook’s Second Voyage from 1772 to 1775 is not shown, although New Caledonia, named by Cook in September 1774, is.

Presented to the Royal Colonial Institute (now the Royal Commonwealth Society) in 1953 by Olive M. Thompson.

To view 3D models of the globe and its case, click here and here.

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