• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2059

    Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts Including Americana

    5 December 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 197


    Price Realised  



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    Pre-Lot Text

    Property from a Private Collection

    Post Lot Text

    VALK, Gerard (1652-1726). Celestial table globe. The cartouche reads: Uranographia caelum omne hic complectens illa pro ut aucta, et ad annum 1700 completum magno ab hevelio correcta est; ita, ejus ex prototypis, sua noviter haec ectypa veris astronomiae cultoribus exhibet et consecrant Gerardus Valk; Amstelaedamenses Cum Priviligio. A second cartouche reads: Monitum novis hisce sphaeris, novissimus, ex praescriptio Lotharii Zum-Bach med: doct. unus, et alter additus horizon: quorum is, qui huic caelesti singularis, praeter communes atq. bissextilem, ut exactior luminarium indagetur locus ad meridianum Amstelodamens, Plus, quam per ducentos annos, suis mensum diebus appositas lunae syzygias, medio tempore medias, ingeniosa methodo et eruit, et exhibet. Amsterdam, dated 1700.

    305 mm. diameter table globe, in a contemporary Dutch-style oak table stand 490 mm. high.

    The globe is made up of two sets of twelve finely engraved and partially hand-colored gores and two polar calottes, laid to the ecliptic poles, the axis through the celestial poles. The equatorial is graduated in degrees with 1 subdivisions. The constellations are finely depicted by mythical beasts and figures and scientific instruments. The constellations and some stars are labelled in Latin. The spheres is mounted in a stamped brass meridian ring. The hand-colored engraved paper horizon circle is detailed with degrees of amplitude and azimuth, days of the month for a four-year cycle, and details of the time of appearance of the new Moon. (Some darkening and rubbing, some scratches, repair to a one inch area, some chipping to paper of horizon circle).

    The oak horizon is raised on four baluster turned and ebonised columns united by flat cross stretchers, supporting the oak base plate, on four ebonised bun feet.

    Gerard Valk, or Gerrit Leendertsz Valck was, together with his son Leonard, the only significant publisher of globes in the Netherlands in the 18th century, enjoying an almost total monopoly in the first half of the century. The Netherlands had, in the previous century, been the main centre of globe-production in Europe, with the masters Blaeu and Hondius issuing some of the finest and most beautiful globes ever made. By 1700, however, Coronelli had taken over their mantle and was issuing globes from France and Italy, and the Dutch were left with simply reissuing the Blaeu globes, in some cases entirely unaltered. Gerard Valk was soon to surpass all other Dutch competition with the accuracy and beauty of his globes, albeit that his nearest rivals were using cartography that was already 50 years out of date.

    In 1701 Valk applied for a charter for making globes and the "Planetolabium", designed by Lotharius Zumbach de Coesfelt (1661-1727), an astronomy lecturer at Leiden University. Zumbach's support was of great help to Valk. It was also Zumbach who designed the innovative horizon rings found on Valk's globes, with data for the lap year cycle and the appearance of the new Moon in Amsterdam over a period lasting approximately 200 years.

    Valk issued his 12-inch diameter celestial globes (accompanied by a terrestrial globe) in 1701, dated 1700. Around the same time, he also published his globe manual 't Werkstellige der Sterrekonst, an updated version of Blaeu's Tweevoudigh Onderwijs. Valk replaced the second part of Blaeu's book, concerning the Copernican sphere, with a treatise on the Planetolabium by Zumbach, originally published in 1691.
    The cartography, as stated on the cartouche, is based closely on the celestial atlas Uranographia, published in 1687 by Polish astronomer Johannes Hevelius (1611-1687).

    Dahl, E.H., and Gauvin, J.-F., Sphaerae Mundi, Montreal, 2000; Dekker, E., Globes at Greenwich, Oxford, 1999; van der Krogt, P., Old Globes in the Netherlands, Utrecht, 1984; "Globes by the Valk Family" in Der Globusfreund Vienna, 1987.