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A Fine American Floor Globe

Terrestrial Floor Globe. COPLEY, Charles/ JOSLIN, Gilman [Boston, 1852/ c. 1870s]
[On Horizon Ring: Improved Globe, Boston. / Manufactured By Gilman Joslin. Corrected To Date. Entered According to Act of Congress, in the Year 1852, in the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of the Southern District of New York. 16 inches in diameter;
39 inches total height. Victorian parlor dark-stained oak tripod stand with shaped supports above central baluster standard on cabriole legs ending in snake feet; excellent condition with a few minor repairs with original finish. Globe with calibrated nickel-plated hour circles at the north and south poles, mounted within a calibrated full nickel-plated meridian. Horizon ring decorated with an engraved paper calendar and zodiac, somewhat age-darkened and with wear. Globe with vibrant original wash coloring. Condition: Rich original varnish surface with a warm, quite bright patina; scattered minor toning, wear, abrasions, small cracks, all professionally restored, still excellent overall.


A very handsome, American floor globe in its original Victorian parlor oak stand. Though originally issued in 1852, the globe was extensively updated by Gilman Joslin to suggest an actual date of issue in the 1870s. Notable in this regard, the globe shows the path of the transatlantic cable, first laid in 1858 and improved in 1866. Also, Nevada (admitted 1864), Nebraska (1867), and Colorado (1876) are all shown as states. Likewise, Australia shows updated political divisions: Queensland is separate from New South Wales, and both North Australia and Alexandra Land appear. Canadian provinces have been similarly updated. Very interesting is clear evidence on the globe of the penetration of the African interior by some of the great English explorers of the latter half of the 19th century. Both lakes Victoria, discovered 1858, and Albert, discovered 1864, are shown and named. Explorations along the interior parts of the Congo (also Zaire) River are also in evidence. Geographical regions and political divisions throughout are set off by color in tones of green, dark pink, light pink, blue, with some outlined in red.
The globe was originally designed and issued by Charles Copley (fl. 1843-69), a map and globe publisher and engraver working in Brooklyn, New York. He is well known for his sea charts, published by Charles Copley and Sons in the mid 19th century. In 1852, he copyrighted this globe along with a16-inch celestial globe and received a gold medal for them at the Fair of the American Institute in New York in the same year. In the 1870s and 1880s, Copley’s globes were revised and reissued by the prominent Boston globe maker, Gilman Joslin, and also by the Franklin group.

Dekker, Elly and van der Krogt, Peter.Globes from the Western World. London: Zwemmer, 1993. pp. 126, 140, 176; How to Use a Globe, Joslin’s Terrestrial and Celestial Globes/ Joslin’s Hand-book to the Terrestrial and Celestial Globes. Gilman Joslin& Son, Manufacturers and Dealers, 5 Mt. Vernon Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts: [n.d., but c. 1890], pp. 3-4; Warner, Deborah Jean. “The Geography of Heaven and Earth,” Rittenhouse Journal of the American Scientific Instrument Enterprise, Vol. 2, No. 3. 1987. pp. 100-103;Yonge, Ena L. A Catalogue of Early Globes, Library Series No. 6. American Geographical Society: 1968. pp. 37-38.

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