Kelvin Hughes Star Navigational Globe
Mounted in Original Fitted Wooden Box
Kelvin Hughes Star Globe
Detail of part Detail of globe cartouche
Instructions for Use of Star Globe (1975)
Kelvin & Hughes
7-Inch Star Globe, Epoch 1975
George Philip & Son, Ltd., London: c. 1975
Mounted in wooden box
Box dimensions: 10.75 inches high; 10.5 inches wide; 10 inches deep
$1,600

A celestial maritime globe made of twelve cream-colored printed gores laid to the celestial poles, the equatorial graduated in degrees and hours, the colures graduated in degrees, the ecliptic graduated in days of the month, the constellations identified by dotted lines connecting the stars, shown to five magnitudes and labeled with Greek characters, some named. The globe is in a fitted box. It is set in a calibrated full brass meridian, mounted in circular brass directional horizon band, within a detachable hemisphere made of four graduated altitude quadrants surmounted by a ball finial. Mounted on the inside of the box lid are two removable brass index clamps for the altitude quadrants and a sheet of printed instructions for use of the globe. The box closes with two eyehooks and is fitted with a campaign-style carrying handle.

This device is intended to assist with navigation at sea according to the position of stars. Items such as these have been made for large ships and were particularly popular during the period between 1880 to 1980. This particular example is based on star positions as at 1975, and is from one of the ships used by the Canadian Navy.

Kelvin & Hughes Ltd. is a well-known British maker of maritime and scientific instruments, now known as Kelvin Hughes. It was created in 1947 as a merger of Henry Hughes & Son Ltd. of London, and the Glasgow firm of Kelvin, Bottomley & Baird Ltd., both venerable manufacturers of nautical instruments with complex histories extending back to the mid 19th century. Henry Hughes & Son manufactured an earlier version of the device shown above in 1920. Both the 1920 version, and one dated 1975 that is nearly identical to the one shown above, are in the collection of the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, England. Those globes are pictured and described in the book Globes at Greenwich (see References below).

George Philip & Sons was a major British globe maker. Read more about the firm in our Guide to Globe Makers.

Oval Cartouche: Printed by George Philip &Son, Ltd. [above cartouche]/ STAR GLOBE/ KELVIN & HUGHES LTD./ EPOCH 1975.

Circular Directional Band Stamped for Henry Hughes & Son, Ltd.: HH&S LTD. No. 3393.

Condition: We have a variety of these globes from time to time. The globes are generally in very good condition, with the usual toning and wear expected for utilitarian globes. Some have light abrasions or soiling. Some are lacking the meridian ring. The boxes are professionally refinished, but some retain overall wear and chips to edges. Hardware and eyehooks vary on the boxes. Please inquire about examples currently available.

Reference:

Dekker, Elly, et al. Globes at Greenwich: A Catalogue of the Globes and Armillary Spheres in the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. London: Oxford University Press and the National Maritime Museum, 1999. pp. 366-68 and 379-81.