• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 5429

    Travel, Science & Natural History

    24 September 2008, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 114

    An exceptional Louis XV 12-inch terrestrial globe

    RIGOBERT BONNE (1727-1795), 1774

    Price Realised  


    An exceptional Louis XV 12-inch terrestrial globe
    Rigobert Bonne (1727-1795), 1774
    GLOBE TERRESTRE dressé par M. Bonne, Avec Privilege et Approbation de l'Académie Rle. des Sciences 1774. in a decorative cartouche with some hand-colouring, made up of twelve engraved gores and two polar calottes; the graduated equatorial alternately shaded and numbered by 10°, the tropics and polar circles shown with broken lines, meridian not marked but longitude 360° for Canary Islands; principle towns, rivers, roads and mountain ranges shown, coastlines with hatching and with further green hand-colouring extending into the Oceans, Australia named Nouvelle Hollande and New South Wales marked with incomplete coastline with broken lines for interpolations which include Tasmania as a peninsula named Terre de Diemen, coastline of New Guinea broken in places, New Zealand shown but no Antarctic lands, Baye de l'Oiseau 16 janv. 1774. marked South-East of Madagascar, California named and shown as a peninsula, Western coast of America and Canada given but no detail inland, unnamed Manitoulin island shown in Lake Huron, no coast to North Canada, crude Alaskan outline, second cartouche to South Pacific A PARIS, Chez Lattré, Graveur ordre. de M. le Dauphin, de M. le Duc D'Orleans et de la Ville, ruë S. Jacq. vis-à-vis la ruë de la Parcheminerie. with decorative hand-coloured border; red-edged meridian with engraved paper scales carrying degree scale for polar elevation, marking the climatic zones and scale for length of day, original paper hour-ring on possibly later card with hour-pointer, the red-edged circular horizon with engraved paper scales for the Houses of the Zodiac pictorially represented, calendar and thirty-two compass points; on a highly decorative wooden stand (some signs of restoration) with gold floral motif painted on black (probably later) composed of four turned columns united with cross-stretchers at a central column, on four bun feet.
    22½in. (57cm.) high

    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    The distinguished French engineer and Academician Rigobert Bonne (1727-1795) achieved a considerable reputation as a cartographer, and it is his name that has been associated with the 6-, 8- and 12-inch globes rather than that of the engraver and publisher Jean Lattré (fl. 1722-1788), whose stock would later be purchased by Charles-François Delamarche. This present one-foot diameter terrestrial represents the first and largest appearance of Bonne's coartography on a globe. In 1775 the famed astronomer Joseph Jérôme le Français de Lalande (1732-1807) completed a complementary celestial globe, also engraved by Lattré, and the two were advertised as a pair in a pamphlet published by Lattré, entitled Nouveaux globes céleste et terrestre, d'un pied de diamètre, le céleste par M. de La Lande,... le terrestre par M. Bonne (Paris, 1775). Although Baie de l'Oiseau is marked with the date 16 January 1774, it was actually on the 6 January 1774 that Kerguelen officially took possession of the bay in the name of the King of France, in the course of his second voyage to the southern hemisphere.

    The gold floral motif bears a similarity to those found on two Jean Fortin pocket globes held at Greenwich (GLB0031 & GLB0045) from the same period.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Dekker, E. Globes at Greenwich (Oxford, 1999)
    Stephenson, E.L. Terrestrial and Celestial Globes (Yale, 1921)
    Tooley, R.V. Tooley's Dictionary of Mapmakers (Tring, 1979)