Terrestrial and celestial globes have been the subject of carved wooden and leather decorative spheres since the first twelve-lobed cartographic example by Mercator in 1541. Their popularity and accessibility have increased through the centuries, but an example in silver is exceptionally rare. The 1797 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica describes the function of the Terrestrial globe, which by means of maps accurately delineated on a spherical ball, gives 'the true situation of the different places of the earth with regard to one another.., as, how far distant they are from us, what hour of the day it is... etc. at any particular place.' The fascination with exploration had taken root in the 18th century mind and globes were considered a necessity for education and to display worldly knowledge. As scientific instruments, they were constantly updated to reflect the newest discoveries occasioned by trade with faraway lands. Accuracy was highly prized and closely linked with exploration; indeed in 1798 prominent London globemakers Bardins dedicated their terrestrial globes to the scientist and Royal Society president Sir Joseph Banks. Thus this 1792 globe reflects the truest representation of the world as known at the time of its creation.