12 July 2017
GILT BRASS TERRESTRIAL GLOBE -- AFTER DEMONGENET, François (d. before 1592). Probably made in Southern Germany, circa 1560-1580. The 3½-inch globe comprised of two gilt brass hemispheres joined along the equator supported in graduated gilt brass meridian ring with metal axis on modern turned ebonised oak stand; in modern fitted felt-lined beech box. 209mm high on stand, the box 272 x 171 x 134mm.
A rare and exquisite 16th-century globe.
The elaborate and finely engraved miniature globe is engraved with a detailed image of the world, the seas stippled and decorated with four sailing ships and six sea monsters, the land showing mountains and rivers, punched profusely with names, two cartouches left blank. The cartography is based on the c.1560 world gores of Demongenet (the fourth plate as identified by Shirley Mapping of the World, 105, with Japan named SIPANGE). America marked DEVICCA ANNO 1530; several fictitious islands given; large land masses to both poles the Northern marked GROENLANDIA and attached to Northern Russia, the large Southern Continent marked TERRA INCOGNITA. The globe engraved with lines of latitude every 10° and longitude every 15°, the Arctic circle, tropic of Cancer, tropic of Capricorn and Antarctic circle all engraved with double line, the graduated equator 0-360° numbered every 10° and alternately shaded every 2°, a half meridian through the Azores 90°-0-90° numbered every 10° and alternately shaded every 2°. The supporting meridian ring graduated on both sides 0-90°,0-90°,90°-0,0-90° numbered every 10° and alternately shaded every 2°.
The 1560 copperplate engraved gores of Demongenet are often found as the cartographic source for mid-sixteenth century manuscript globes. These gores themselves are very closely related to those of 1547 by the Nuremberg instrument maker Georg Hartmann. A 4-inch gilt brass globe by Reinhold held at Royal Museums Greenwich (GLB0022), and dated 1588, is based on cartography by Mercator; by the early 17th century the widely distributed printed globes of Mercator and the Dutch publishing houses of Hondius and Blaeu.
Similarly sized terrestrial globes are often found in elaborate armillary spheres or at the base of celestial globe clocks, notably those by the Augsburg clockmaker Johann Reinhold (1550-1596). An attribution to Reinhold might be possible for this globe, but its size is such that numbering and lettering are all punched rather than engraved and it is possible the punches were used by more than one workshop. The style of the punches is certainly typical of the mid-16th century instrument makers of Augsburg and Nuremberg.
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