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).