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MATTHÆUS GREUTER (1566-1638), ROME, DATED 1632 & 1636

A PAIR OF ITALIAN 19-INCH GLOBES MATTHÆUS GREUTER (1566-1638), ROME, dated 1632 & 1636 The terrestrial bearing four cartouches, one signed Matthæus Auctor ANNO MDC XXXII, the twelve engraved gores and two calottes with later hand-colouring and laid on a later metal sphere. The celestial with cartouche signed ROMÆ 1636 M. Greuter exc. permissu superior, of similar construction, the gores laid to the ecliptic pole and axis through celestial poles. Both meridians later and graduated on both sides with four divided quadrant arcs. Octagonal engraved paper horizons, mounted on cicular support, are uncoloured and divided with zodiacal, calendrical scales with Saint's days given along with the winds, on spindle-turned walnut stands, the stands restored Each globe 30 in. (76 cm.) high

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Lot Essay

P. van der Krogt, Old globes in the Netherlands, Utrecht, 1984, Gre 4-7, pp.129-36.
E.L. Stevenson, Terrestrial and celestial globes, New Haven, 1921, vol. 2, pp.54-60.

Matthæus Greuter (1566-1638) was born in Strasbourg and learnt engraving in that city before continuing his craft in Lyon and Avignon. An M. Greuter is listed as engraver on the cartouche of a set of gores originating in Lyon around 1626, published by Gulielmus Nicolai (fl.1573-1613). Greuter is reported, however, to have settled in Rome in around 1610 and he certainly published large maps of that city (1618) and of the whole of Italy (1620 or 1630). He was definitely settled in Rome by 1632, however, and it was there that he began publishing globes in 1632 with a terrestrial of 19in. diameter, the celestial following in 1636. That year he also published a pair of 10in. diameter.

His terrestrial globe takes its cartography from the largest of Willem Blaeu's (1571-1638). Greuter, however, does not include the rhumb-lines and his Oceans are highly ornate, decorated with several ships and sea-monsters, with only a few wind-roses. The fictitious island of Frisland is given but little of the North and West of Canada, the Great Lakes are all merged into one.
His cartouche for the celestial claims the work is based on the work of "that most eminent Danish Astronomer Tycho Brahe". Brahe (1546-1601) produced the first western star catalogue since antiquity and was visited by Blaeu in 1595. Along with Blaeu, traces of cartography can be seen from both Pieter van der Keere (1571-1646) and Pertrus Plancius (1552-1622).

Greuter's globes sold widely and successfully in Italy, and were republished after his death by Giovanni Battista de Rossi (fl.1640-1682) and then again in 1695 by another de Rossi, Domenico, both undetermined relatives of the Giuseppe de Rossi who had produced accurate copies of the Hondius globes in Rome in 1615 (such as the uncoloured example sold at Christie's South Kensington, 15 October 2009, £44,450). An edition from 1744 of the larger terrestrial globe is also recorded, apparently published by a company in Rome named "Calcografia della R.C.A." In Stevenson'slearned opinion "so well did [Greuter] perform his work that he is entitled to rank with the leading globe makers of the Netherlands".

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