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Globe, American, Carey, Cary, Pair, Terrestrial World, Celestial, 9-Inch Table Globe, 4-Leg Stand, Antique, Philadelphia, Early 19th Century (Reserved)

Mathew Carey (1760-1839) (seller)
Pair of Nine-Inch Terrestrial and Celestial Table Globes
J. & W. Cary, London: 1817 (terrestrial), 1802 (celestial)
14 inches high, 13 inches diameter, overall

• This pair of globes are currently on reserve among numerous extremely fine and rare globes to be sold as a single collection. Meanwhile they has been placed here in our American Globe Guide as a service for researchers and collectors.
• Visit our Globes and Planetaria section to see globes offered for current individual purchase.

A fine pair of 9-inch terrestrial and celestial table globes by J. & W. Cary, who are generally regarded as the greatest British globe makers of the late Georgian period. This pair is particularly unusual insofar as they have the applied overlabel of Mathew Carey, a prominent Philadelphia map and atlas publisher, who imported the globes for sale in the United States. As such, they are among the earliest known British globes with label from an American seller. Various prominent Americans, including Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, are known to have owned globes imported from London during the Federal period.

Product description continues below.


Each globe is surmounted by a brass hour circle, within a calibrated full brass meridian, the horizon band with engraved paper calendar and zodiac, raised on a turned ebonized stand with four legs joined by a cross stretchers, ending in top-form feet. The terrestrial globe shows geographic entities shaded in various tones of blue, pink, olive, green, some with red or green outline against oceans colored cream and olive. The detailed cartography includes the American west shown as Louisiana, New Mexico and New Albion. The celestial globe is cream-colored, with constellations shown by curved boundaries rather than as mythological and other figures. Stars are shown to the sixth magnitude.

The celebrated Cary family of cartographers and globe makers produced some of the greatest late Georgian globes. The firm was started in the late 18th century by John Cary, who often worked in partnership with his brother William Cary, a scientific instrument maker, known as J. & W. Cary. The Cary brothers moved their business to 86 St. James’s Street in about 1820, leaving their former premises at 181 Strand to John Cary’s sons George (c. 1788-1859) and John Jr. (1791 – 1852) who in turn produced a variety of globes under the name G. & J. Cary from 1821 to about 1850. George Frederick Cruchley, a map seller, took over a portion of the Cary business and produced maps and globes from 1850 to about 1876.

Mathew Carey was a key figure in the development of early American cartography and publishing. Carey emigrated to the United States from Ireland and established the first specialized cartographic publishing firm in Philadelphia, employing printers, engravers and colorists. With a combination of up-to-date cartographic information and a high standard of craftsmanship, Carey’s maps are considered among the best American published maps of the era. Carey was elected a member of the American Antiquarian Society in 1815, which has a significant archive of his business papers and publications in their collection.

Read more about the Cary firm on our Guide to Globe Makers.

Circular Wreath Cartouche: CARY’S/ NEW/ TERRESTRIAL GLOBE/ ON WHICH/ are laid down the various/ discoveries of/ CAPTAIN COOK, VANCOUVER/ DE LA PEROUSE &c./ LONDON/ Sold by M. Carey, Philadelphia, 1817

Rectangular Cartouche: CARY’S/ New CELESTIAL GLOBE, on/ WHICH/ The whole of The Stars to the fifth/ Magnitude inclusive; with part/ of the sixth are correctly laid down/ Calculated to the Year 1800/ London Made & Sold by J &W Cary, Aug 1802/ Sold by M. Carey Philadelphia 18[?]

Condition:  Each generally very good, recently professionally restored and revarnished, with the usual remaining expected light toning, wear and restorations to minor scattered cracks and abrasions. Stands generally very good with the usual wear and shrinkage.


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. p. 293.

Dekker, Elly and Peter van der Krogt. Globes from the Western World. London: Zwemmer, 1993. pp. 118, 122-123.

Fordham, Sir Herbert George. John Cary, Engraver, Map, Chart and Print-Seller and Globe-Maker. Cambridge University Press,1925.

Lamb, Tom and Collins, Jeremy. The World in Your Hands: An Exhibition of Globes and Planetaria. London: Christie’s, 1994. p. 64.

“Mathew Carey.” Wikipedia. 14 November 2019. (26 November 2019).

Additional information

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Wood, Mahogany