Geographic entities and constellations are drawn and labeled in brown ink, with some shading in red on the celestial globe, and in green on the terrestrial globe. The terrestrial globe includes the equator, the ecliptic, the Tropics of Capricorn and Cancer, and polar circles. California is shown as a peninsula, the Midwestern United States is labeled Louisiana and Sioux, the Pacific Northwest is labeled New Albion, and the Southwest is labeled Grand Tequaio. Australia is labeled New Holland, Land of Endracht or Concord. Major areas of Africa include “Hottentots,” “Monomotapa” and “Bengueia” in the south, “Negroland” in the west, and “Nubia, Ethiopia and Abyssinia” in the east. The North Pacific coast of Asia is drawn according to the accounts of 17th-century Dutch explorers. The strait between Siberia and Alaska is labeled Vries’ Strait, after Maerten Vries, and the portion of Alaskan coastline that Vries mapped in 1643 is called Company Land, indicating that the region was claimed by the Dutch East India Company. Present-day Hokkaido is referred to as “Yedso” and shown as a landmass somewhere between Company Land and Kamchatka, as was often the case in the 1730s. An inscription on the globe near the area reads, “IT is not yet discover’d whether JAPON be with YEDSO …” The oval cartouche is within a decorative border.
The celestial globe shows the Ptolemaic constellations as figures from classical mythology. Stars are indicated in different sizes according to their magnitude.
Thomas Whitty, Jr. was the son of Thomas Whitty, Sr. (1716-1792), founder of the renowned carpet manufactory in Axminster, Devon, England. Impressed by a Turkish carpet he saw in 1754, Whitty, Sr., then a cloth manufacturer, figured out how to weave similar carpets at an affordable price and launched his new venture the following year. Within a few years, he had a clientele of wealthy aristocrats and dominated the market for hand-knotted carpets. His Axminster Carpets were produced for the Earl of Shaftsbury, Attingham, the music room at Brighton Pavilion, Warwick Castle and Chatsworth House. In 1789, King George III and Queen Charlotte visited the factory. Little information is readily available concerning Thomas Whitty, Jr., who made these globes, and they appear to be his only surviving cartographic productions. A pre-nuptial settlement for his daughter’s marriage in 1787 lists him as “Thomas Whitty junior of Axminster, carpet maker,” so apparently he worked in his father’s firm. In addition, both Thomas Whitty, Sr. and Thomas Whitty, Jr. of Axminster are listed among the policyholders of the Sun Fire Office insurance company in records dated April 27, 1792. The Whitty family continued to run the carpet firm until a disastrous fire in 1828 crippled the business and eventually forced the founder’s grandson, Samuel Rampson Whitty, to close the firm in 1835. It was revived by an unrelated entrepreneur in 1937 and that company still makes carpets in Axminster today.
Terrestrial globe, oval cartouche: A/ New & Correct/ TERRAQUEOUS GLOBE/ Containing/ The latest Discoveries of most Skilful/ Astronomers & Navigators/ By Tho. Whitty Jun’r/ OF AXMINSTER/ 1768.
Celestial cartouche, faded outline: A Celestial/ GLOBE/ by T. Whitty/ 17 68.
Hine, James. “The Origin of Axminster Carpets.” August 1889. Online at Devon Heritage: 31 July 2009. http://www.devonheritage.org/Places/Axminster/TheoriginofAxminstercarpets.htm (22 May 2014).
“Latest News: The Sounds of Carpet Making.” Axminster Heritage. 22 March 2006. http://www.axminsterheritage.org/news.html (22 May 2014).
“Records of Sun Fire Office.” National Archives (UK).” http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/A2A/records.aspx?cat=074-sun_2-0-385&cid=-1#-1 (22 May 2014).
Rose, Brenda. “Early Axminster Carpets.” http://www.axminsterheritage.org/article_earlyaxminster.html (22 May 2014).
Thompson, Gunnar. Commander Francis Drake and the West Coast Mysteries. Misty Isles Press, 2010. pp. 134-135. Online at Google Books: http://books.google.com/books?id=Nh2mAgAAQBAJ&pg=PA134 (21 May 2014).
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“X368 Cornwall Council Deeds.” Cornwall Council. 2009. http://crocat.cornwall.gov.uk/dserve/dserve.exe?dsqIni=Dserve.ini&dsqApp=Archive&dsqDb=Catalog&dsqCmd=show.tcl&dsqSearch=(RefNo==%22X368/72%22) (22 May 2014).