647. [World - Globes]


A magnificent pair of globes, terrestrial and celestial.

Venice, 1696

Each globe made of wood, diam. 47 cm, with 2 polar calottes and 12 copper engraved half gores, clipped at a latitude of 80° for the terrestrial globe and at a declination of 80° for the celestial globe. Each globe coloured by a later hand and varnished (celestial globe, cartouches: minor damage on one, another's left side does not align exactly with its right).

Mounted with wooden meridian and octogonal horizon rings. The horizon rings are covered with paper reproductions in facsimile. The meridian rings are painted in yellow and red with ms. notes in Italian. Ebonised wooden stands, overall height and width 64x64,5 cm, consisting of 4 baluster turned legs united by similarly turned cross stretchers to a circular base and turned meridian support (partly renewed).

The giant "Marly Globes" (each with a diameter of c. 4 m; now in the Bibliothèque Nationale) offered by the cardinal d'Estrée to Louis XIV in 1683, brought the Venetian cosmographer Coronelli (1650-1718) such international repute that the French King gave him the reproductive rights which enabled Coronelli to open a workshop in globe making in his hometown in 1686. Two years earlier Coronelli, a Franciscan Friar at the convent of S. Maria Gloriosa, already had founded the "Accademia Cosmografica degli Argonauti" and in 1697 he would publish his famous "Libri dei globi". Our globes, in their first state (!), were produced some 10 years after the "Marly" pair, the time by which Coronelli's masterpieces were the toast of Europe. Both with engraved dedicatory cartouches to William of Orange (1650-1702), Stadtholder of the Dutch Republic from 1672 and King of England, Ireland and Scotland as William III from 1689. Terrestrial globe: The meridian ring is graduated in 4 quadrants and the later octagonal paper horizon ring features the houses of the Zodiac, calendar scales and wind directions. The globe provides extensive geographical information with place names, i.a. in Italian, Dutch, English, Latin and Spanish, and the exact location - marked by an asterisk - of the antipodes of Venice. It also includes plenty of notes on the discoveries, such as Magellan's voyage, the European exploration of Australia and New Zealand, the early expeditions along the west coast of North America and to the East Indies. California is drawn as an island and Korea as a peninsula.The coast lines are enriched with calligraphic texts and the oceans with images of ships and sea monsters echoing voyagers' tales and adventures. In addition the sea voyages of Jacob Le Maire (1615-1617), Chevalier de Chaumont (1685-1686), and others are mentioned or traced. Celestial globe: The mounting, meridian and horizon rings are the same as that of the terrestrial globe. The star positions are calculated for the year 1700, as is also mentioned in the "Amico Lettore". The globe provides extensive information on the 48 Ptolemaic constellations and 35 non-Ptolemaic constellations with the stars picked out in gold paint. It further features the Milky Way, the Large Magellanic Cloud, the Small Magellanic Cloud and includes various notes on novae, observed from 1600 to 1650, and comets, observed from 1531 to 1681, and also a reference in Aquarius to the stars observed by Hevelius with a telescope. An exceptional set from the hand of "le plus grand fabricant de globes de tous les temps" (cf. Helen Wallis, Notice biographique de Coronelli, Amsterdam, 1969, p. 18) who had sensed that the nobility of Europe wanted grand globes and so he provided them. Ref. Decker GLBOI24 and GLBOI25 (Decker, about the pair at Greenwich, mentions a brass meridian and a normal, not octagonal, horizon ring covered with paper manuscript which is a later replacement). Prov. Frits Philips Collection, 5 December 2006, Sotheby's Amsterdam, lot 494.

€ 175.000 / 250.000

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