the 34 cm. diameter celestial table globe made up of twelve engraved and hand coloured gores and two polar calottes laid to the ecliptic poles on a papier-mâché and plaster sphere, the axis through the celestial poles, with titular cartouche, a dedicatory cartouche surmounted by the arms of Prince Maurits of Nassau, two further cartouches and portrait of Tycho Brahe to Southern hemisphere; supported in a graduated brass meridian circle, the contemporary oak and ebonised stand with horizon ring, with a crack, on four columnar legs united with cross-stretchers and moulded platform, the engraved paper calendrical scale missing, the engraved gores with some wear and discolouring
The various states of Blaeu's 1597/1598 celestial globe are listed in the book of Peter van de Krogt 'Globi Neerlandici’ (op. cit.). The present globe, unpublished, is of the third state (van de Krogt, BLA I, 3rd State, op. cit. pp. 492-494) and was issued after circa 1621. The only distinction between the third and the previous states (also measuring 34 cm and with the publishing date 1603) is that the dedicatory cartouche to Maurits of Nassau, Prince of Orange is signed 'Guilielmus Janssonius Blaeu', rather than 'Guilielmus Janssonius Alcmarianus', as it had been in the two earlier states. According to van de Krogt the third state was also the latest state for a celestial globe of this specific size. Regarding the descriptive dating after 1621 one needs to consider that it is highly unlikely that Blaeu kept producing similar globes for decades thereafter still using the original publishing date 1603; he surely at some point would have changed the publishing date to a more recent one.
We gratefully thank Mr. Diederick Wildeman curator at the Scheepvaartmuseum in Amsterdam for his assistance in cataloguing this lot.
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