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Miniature Globe by Charles Smith

If you turn to Page 496 of Globes of Greenwich by Elly Decker, which catalogues all the globes at the National Maritime Museum, you will find described a terrestrial globe dated 1834 published by Charles Smith & Son, 172 The Strand.

By this time, the voyages of Cook, Gore, Clarke and la Perouse had definedalmost al the main continental outlines and their tracks are shown; in fact, it marks: Owhyhee…here C.Cook .was killed.

It also records the lost island ‘I Grande’, which was sighted off the coast of Argentina by Antonio de la Roche in 1675 and never sighted again, but marks it ‘very doubtful’.

Perhaps the most charming legend adorns the otherwise empty Horn of Africa, which is marked Myrrh and Incense Country

Globes of this size (3.75 inches) are usually housed in fishskin cases and hence termed ‘pocket’ globes.

However, we now have a very rare example of this pocket-sized globe mounted on a contemporary wooden stand. This is made from rosewood and mimics the late Regency style of the William IV period: the gilt meridian ring is supported on a baluster column, which in turn rests on a concave triangular base with ree gilt brass ballet. It looksin fact, just like a miniaturised version of the bottom half of a breakfast table.

All in all, it makes for a very elegant and well-proportioned decorative object.

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