William Bardin (fl.1783-1798) began making globes around 1780, having previously been a freeman of the Leatherseller's Company and of the Girdler's Company. His first globes were of 9 and 12-inch diameter, published on 1 January 1782 in collaboration with Gabriel Wright (fl.1770-1804). Wright was a mathematical instrument-maker who had worked for eighteen years (according to an advertisement of his) for instrument-maker Benjamin Martin. Martin had the plates of Senex's celebrated globes acquired from James Ferguson and Wright was probably involved with the publication of Martin's versions of these globes. However, Wright may well have left Bardin before these globes actually appeared as a 1781 advertisement shows him resident at 36 Little Britain, whilst Bardin was based in Hind Court.
In 1790, William was joined by his son Thomas Marriott (1768-1819), apprenticed since 1783 and recently become a freeman. From now on the firm was known as W. & T.M. Bardin, and in 1794 moved to new premises in Salisbury Square, off Fleet Street. Following William's death, Thomas took sole control of the firm, which in turn was taken over by his daughter Elizabeth Marriott (1799-1851) in 1820, after he had died, and then by her husband, S.S. Edkins following their marriage in 1832, and a son of theirs was added to make S.S. Edkins & Son in 1848, until the father died in 1853 and the firm was closed shortly thereafter.
An advertisement fror William Bardin and Son issued in 1798, illustrates a variety of 'Patterns of Frames for Bardin's new British Globes'. An example closely related to the present lot with turned legs executed in mahogany was offered at a cost of 17 Guineas, while a plainer version with sqaure legs, but in 'Sattin Wood' was 18 Guineas (see T.Lamb and J.Collins, eds, The World in Your Hands An Exhibition of Globes and Planetaria, exhibition catalogue, 1994, p.33, fig.3.4). A closely related globe by W. & T.M. Bardin in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum is illustrated in Oliver Bracket, An Encyclopedia of English Furniture, London, 1927, p.299 and Ralph Edwards, Victoria & Albert Museum: Georgian Furniture, Bristol, 1951, pl. 119.