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probably made in London

Postcard of Globe.
© National Museums Scotland


This terrestrial pocket globe was made around 1750, probably by James Ferguson (1710-1776) of London.

The globe shows the route of George Anson's circumnavigation between 1740 and 1744. The contemporary state of geographical knowledge is revealed by the shape of Australia, and instead of Antarctica is the statement 'The South Pole'. The globe is pictured with its hinged black fishskin case, on the inside of which is a gored celestial map.

This '3-inch' (ball=70 mm) size of globe was normally supplied in a case as in this example, although some are known on miniature wooden horizon stands. There were several editions, this being the earliest, with Anson's voyage only, the later ones showing one or more of James Cook's circumnavigations. Ferguson bought John Senex's copper plates in 1755 but had to sell them to another instrument maker, Benjamin Martin, in 1757 because of poor business management.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-104-226-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  T.1962.18
Date: Around 1750
c. 1750
Material: Black leather case
Dimensions: 3.00" globe D
What: Globe, terrestrial / case
Subject: 5. CARTOGRAPHY, Globes (Departmental Classification)
Colour: Colour (Scran Tags)
Objects: Engraving (Scran Tags)
Type: Object(s) (Scran Tags)
Who: James Ferguson, 1710 - 1776 (Globe maker)
Where: England
Description: Terrestrial globe in a hinged black leather case with a celestial map gored on the inside by James Ferguson, c. 1750
  • Dekker, Elly & van der Krogt, Peter, Globes from the Western World. London: 1993, pp 112-5 
  • Millburn, J. R., Wheelwright of the Heavens: the Life & Work of James Ferguson, FRS. London: 1988, p 268 & pp 82-90 
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