AN EXTRAORDINARY TERRESTRIAL LIBRARY GLOBE OF MONUMENTAL SIZE made in Berlin, Germany 1871.
Produced by one of the preeminent globe makers of the 19th century, the publishing house of Dietrich Reimer (Verlag Dietrich Reimer) of Berlin, Germany circa 1871. It was modeled after designs by Carl Adami, and updated by Dr. Heinrich Kiepert. During this time, globes were a necessary fixture in any well-to-do establishment that served to track trade routes and mark the discoveries of explorers. A globe of this caliber would have been the pride and joy of its original owner.
A similar globe sits in the private collections of the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England. Both globes are marked with the same inscription (although the globe in the maritime museum shows more wear on the inscription than ours does), “Erd Globus, nachdem Entwurf v. C. Adami, im verhaltniss von 1: 16,500,000 der naturlichen Grosse, bearbeitet u gezerchnet von Dr. Heinrich Kiepert, Berlin 1871, Dietrich Reimer”.
This translates to, “Terrestrial Globe, After Drafts by C. Adami, in the proportion of 1:16,500,000 of the natural size, edited and drawn by Dr. Heinrich Kiepert, Berlin 1871, Dietrick Reimer”.
The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich was established by an act of Parliament in 1934, and was opened to the public by King George VI in 1937. The National Maritime Museum, The Royal Observatory, The Queen’s House, and Cutty Stark all make up the prestigious Royal Museums Greenwich. The collections of the National Maritime Museum house the most important pieces in the world regarding the history of Britain at sea.
Verlag Dietrich Reimer was founded in 1845 in Berlin, and in 1852, acquired another globe making company, Carl Adami & Co. After this acquisition, Carl Adami worked for Reimer updating globes as a cartographer. Reimer also hired the brilliant cartographer and globe designer Heinrich Kiepert. In 1854, Kiepert published Atlas Antiquus, a text on ancient geography that became internationally regarded, and was translated into many different languages.
This globe was skillfully created by three of the most innovative globe-making minds of all time. It is made up of two sets of twenty-four gores, and displays an octagonal ecliptic graduated with degrees, as well as the zodiac and calendar months. The meridian is papered and printed with graduated degrees of longitude and latitude. The globe is situated on an elaborately carved, parcel gilt stand awash in egg and dart moulding. The three splayed legs exhibit acanthus motifs ending in pawed feet. The three are joined by a stretcher at the center of which is a cased barometer.
This globe is a wonderful insight into the time of its creation, a portrait of history frozen in time that will endure, even as lines are constantly drawn and redrawn in our own modern world.