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A PAIR OF GEORGE III 18 INCH GLOBES ON MAHOGANY STANDS IN THEIR GEORGE III DISPLAY-CASES By George Adams Senior, circa 1765 The terrestial globe inscribed 'Britanniarum REGI Augustifsimo GEORGIO TERTIO. / Scientiarum Cultori pariter et Praefidio Globum hunc Terrestrem, Omnes hactenus exploratus terrarum tractus, Ad Obfervationes Navigantium Itinerantium, et Aftronomo rum recentiores, accuratifsime deferiptos, exhibentem, Grati animi et pietatis monumentum, D.D.Q Omni culta et officio devinctifsimus G. Adams Londini apud. G. Adams artificem Reguim in vico Fleet Street', and with watermark in 'HOLLANDIA NOVA'; the Celestial globe inscribed 'Britanniarum REGI Augustifsimo GEORGIO TERTIO Aftronomorum Patrono Munificentifsimo, Celeberrimo Globum hunc Caelestem, Novam et Emenclatiorem Caeli Imaginem, Sydera apud Africae Promontorium Anfrale nuperrim observata, Atq Stellas Catalogi Flamfrediam, Universas, ver exprimentem, Grati amimi et pietatis monumentium D.D.Q. Omni cultu et officio devinctifsimus Londini apud G. ADAMS, atfificem Regium in vico Fleet Street', each on a ring-turned shaft, with a tripartite base, on channelled legs headed by scrolled brackets, on scrolled feet, the legs joined by a circular compass, with later needle inscribed 'Made by GEO: ADAMS in Fleet Street LONDON *', attached with brass scrolling brackets, both globes with papered horizons and engraved meridian circle and an equator wire, both with movable semi-meridian, the Celestial globe with a sun, the compasses repositioned, one compass plate cracked, the celestial compass lacking a section of brass-banding, restorations, the globes re-varnished and with some later additions, the meridian circle of the terrestrial globe has been reaffixed upsidedown and the horizon supports replaced, the cases each with moulded hexagonal top and satinwood banding, above a fluted frieze, the glazed sides with a pair of doors, on a moulded plinth base, each containing two pierced brackets to the interior, replacements to the glass panes, the cases each lacking one bracket on the doors, with later plinths and possibly later or refinished tops The globes: 32 in. (82.5 cm.) high; 18 in. (46 cm.) diam. The cases: 41 in. (104 cm.) high; 29 in. (79.5 cm.) diam. (2)
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Lot Essay

George Adams (d. 1773) ran an instrument-making business in Fleet Street, London and was appointed Mathematical Instrument Maker to His Majesty's Office in 1748 and Mathematical Instrument Maker in Ordinary to his Majesty in 1760. After his death, the firm was taken over by his son, George Adams Jr and his younger brother Dudley Adams.
A pair of globes, with the same dedication to King George III, were illustrated in George Adam's A Treatise Describing and Explaining the Construction and Use of New Celestial and Terrestrial Globes, 1766. This manual accompanied the globes supplied by George Adams.
The present globes display several features, which were newly introduced by Adams, such as the movable semi-meridian brass wire, and the equator wire.

A very similar pair of globes, circa 1766, are currently in the London Science Museum, and illustrated with their octagonal mahogany and glazed display-cases, carved with blind-fretwork and on four square chamfered legs, in Morton & Wess, Public & Private Science, The King George III Collection, London, 1993, p. 410-411. Another related pair of globes circa 1770-80 were presented by Warden Oglander (d. 1994) to New College, Oxford in 1970 and are situated in The Upper Library. They have their original hexagonal cases with square glazing bars on three square tapering legs.

The present hexagonal cases, glazed in fretted ribbons with paired octagon compartments recall the sun-god Apollo and the mosaic ceiling of his Palmyreen temple (illustrated in R. Wood, The Temple of Palmyra, 1753). The pattern featured in a 1753 engraving for a bookcase published in Thomas Chippendale's The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Director, 1754, pl. LXIX. Pairs of Adam globes with their original display-cases are rare and among those recorded there appear to be considerable differences in construction and design. The present cases, like those at New College Oxford, and those dedicated to George III, currently in the Science Museum, may have had legs to allow the globes to be studied nearer eye level. If the legs have since been removed this would explain why the plinths have been replaced, in which case, the tops would not have been as visible as they are now, explaining the present refinished tops.

The globe frames are supported on a vase-turned baluster, whose richly moulded and serpentine-trussed 'claw' terminating in whorled and plinth-supported volutes, relate to that of a hexagonal tripod table supplied in 1764 by Thomas Chippendale to Sir Lawrence Dundas, Bt., for 19 Arlington Street, London (illustrated in C. Gilbert, The Life and Work of Thomas Chippendale, London, 1978, vol. II, p. 257, fig. 470).


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