Terrestrial Globe by James Cox

Quite recently I had cause to visit Althorp, the Spencer family home, and tour the interior. By far the most exciting item on view, for me at least, was a pair of gigantic library globes by John Senex, each fully three feet in diameter and supported on amazing Chippendale stands. They date from 1740 and have not left the house since then, except to be restored about 15 years ago.

I discovered subsequently that the Althorp globes had been restored by my own globe restorer, a process that had taken her more than a year to complete.

Her latest work for me, on a somewhat more modest scale, involved a 12” terrestrial globe by James Cox mounted on the kind of table-top stand that mimics a library stand, i.e: it has a tripod base with a compass between the legs but a relatively short central column. In this case the removal of perished varnish has revealed the bright original watercolouring on both the globe and the horizon ring.

There are very few recorded globes by Cox and those that have surfaced in recent decades have been pocket examples. Little is known of him beyond the fact that he was a member of the Spectacle Makers Guild, married Susanna Nicols in 1797 and was succeeded in his Barbican workshop by his son Frederick, who was educated at Christ’s Hospital.

The cartouche on this globe proclaims that it “represents the accurate positions of the principle known places of the earth from the discoveries of Captain Cook and subsequent circumnavigations to the present period 1802, with additions to 1807”.

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