Andreæ Akerman (c.1723-1766) was an engraver with a strong interest in mathematical science, and a founder member of the 'Kosmografiska Sällskapet' (Cosmographical Society) of Sweden, founded in 1758. The Society, following the French example, was strongly supportive of those of its members who wished to pursue geographical research and publication. As such, with the society's financial backing, Akerman was able to set up a workshop for producing globes, and in 1759 published his first pair, of 12in. diameter. Further issues were of 4¼in. diameter in 1762, the celestial gores being designed for either convex or concave application, and a 23in. diameter pair in 1766. Due to careful design of the expensive copper plates (dovetailing the northern and southern hemisphere gores on one plate), Akerman was able to offer his globes relatively cheaply on the domestic market. However, to be able to compete against the more established foreign firms and their imports, the prices had to be maintained at an impractically low level, and despite further financial assistance, he died in poverty in 1778. After Akerman's death, the workshop was taken over by Frederik Akrel (1748-1804) who enjoyed rather more commercial success, with the joint backing of the Swedish State, as did Akrel's son and successor Carl Frederik (1779-1862). The terrestrial of the pair offered here represents one of the Akerman globes reissued the year following his death, with a cartouche bearing Akrel's name pasted over the original. Akrel was to update these gores for reissue again the following year, however, taking into account the extensive new discoveries from Cook's voyages.
Akerman's globes are of interest not merely because they represent the finest Swedish globes of their period, but also because of his use of pictorial relief to denote mountains and forests, and the detail applied to the oceans. This was due to the influence of the geographer Torbern Olaf Bergman, one of the other founder members of the Cosmographical Society. Under his influence Akerman was also one of the first modern cartographers to take note of the long forgotten Torres Strait between Australia and New Guinea, which following its initial discovery in 1606 seemed to have been almost entirely ignored. For the celestial gores, Akerman used the Catalogus Brittanicus by British Royal Astronomer John Flamsteed for the northern hemisphere, and for the southern the 1756 catalogue of Abbé Nicolas-Louis de Lacaille, including Lacaille's fourteen new constellations, most of which were drawn as scientific instruments.
Count Carl Diedric Ehrenpreus (1692-1760) was a councillor of the (Swedish) realm, and a chancellor of Uppsala University, one of the centres of activity for the Cosmographical Society.