A Regency fifteen inch celestial library globe
John and George Cary, London, circa 1825
The sphere applied with twelve engraved and hand tinted colour gores incorporating trade label CARY'S, NEW CELESTIAL GLOBE, ON WHICH, are carefully laid down the whole of the, STARS AND NEBULAE, Contained in the Catalogues of, Wollaston, Hershel, Bode, Piazzi, Zach & c., calculated to the year 1820... with the constellations represented by delicately coloured mythical beasts and figures and appropriately labelled along with the stars with brightness represented in eight grades of MAGNITUDE , with equinoctial graduated in degrees in both directions and ecliptic with calendar labelled in Latin and also graduated in degrees, with engraved hour dial to top pole and pivoted within brass meridian circle divided for degrees, resting in wooden stand with hand coloured paper horizon ring graduated in degrees in two directions, days of the month and houses of the Zodiac with names and symbols and also showing compass directions, cradled within three down-curved supports carrying the meridian ring at the base of the sphere over baluster-turned upright issuing three down curved supports incorporating paper-scale glazed compass to stretched and terminating with brass cup castors, 99cm (39ins) approx. high overall.
Provenance: Purchased by the vendor at Bonhams, London sale of Fine Mechanical Music & Scientific Instruments 9 th November 2011 (lot 158) for £4,750.
The celebrated Cary family business of scientific instrument and globe makers was established by John Cary at Johnson's Court, Fleet Street, London in 1782 moving to a new address at 'Corner of Arundel Square', Strand the following year. He was primarily an engraver of maps, charts and globes who moved again in 1783 to 188 Strand. By 1791 he had entered into what appeared to be a relatively casual partnership with his brother, William; this partnership lasted until circa 1816 by which time William and John Cary had moved again to 181 Strand before finally settling in 86 St. James in 1820. The following year he was succeeded by his sons, John (II) and George Cary, who continued from the firm's 181 Strand address until 1851/2 when the business was acquired by Henry Gould.
The upper hemisphere has an old bruise approx. 3ins by 2 ins. and the equator has filled/repaired cracking to around 60 % of the circumference. The lower hemisphere has two re-touched scuffs and at least two patches of additional repair/touching-in measuring between circa 1 inch and 2 inches across. The lower pole has further surface repair/touching-in to around 3-4ins diameter around the pivot. Faults to the sphere are otherwise limited to relatively minor bumps scuff scratches and light bruising. The general colour is an even brown tone. The horizon papers have three areas of retouching - one of which is over a obliquely orientated crack to the wooden ring beneath which has been made secure. The stand is intact; one of the curved supports for the horizon ring is missing its two 'ears' at the junction with the ring; one foot has been broken-off and re-stuck and a castor is currently detached due to wear/enlargement of the socket into which it fits to the underside of the foot. The compass is lacking its needle, has a crack to the glass and shrinkage to the surround; the papers are also dirty/dust-stained.
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