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Globe, American, Dennoyer-Geppert, Celestial, 16-Inch Table Globe, Pedestal Stand, Chicago, c. 1956


Denoyer-Geppert Company
16-inch Celestial Table Globe
Chicago: c. 1956 to 1960s
Metal table stand
24.5 inches high; 22 inches diameter, horizon band

A large and graphically impressive celestial table globe.

The celestial globe is mounted within a full metal meridian with raised calibrations rotating within a meridian fork. The horizon band has a color-printed paper calendar and zodiac, raised on a simple metal stand with circular tapering stem and round dish base. The paper gores are attached to a hollow metal core; the horizon band, however, is made of wood. The globe is colored light blue with stars of first to third magnitude shown by size highlighted in yellow and fourth through sixth magnitude stars shown by size in black. Major stars are labeled with Greek letters. Dotted black lines connect the brightest stars within constellations rather than illustrating them as mythological and other figures. Straight blue lines indicate their boundaries according to a convention dividing the sky into 88 interlocking constellations adopted in the 1920s by the International Astronomical Union. The Milky Way is indicated shaded with pale yellow dots.

Product description continues below.


By 1928, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) had agreed upon the division of the celestial sphere into 88 interlocking “modern” constellations enclosed by boundaries with straight-line contours at right angles to each other that is still in use today. These boundaries enclosed the traditional pictorial representations of the constellations that date back to antiquity for the Northern Hemisphere, and for Southern Hemisphere constellations that were added in the 16th and 17th centuries after European navigators mapped the sky south of the Equator. Accordingly, many 20th-century globe makers followed the IAU approach by including the outlined boundaries used by astronomers while showing the constellations as lines connecting the bright stars within each respective constellation, generally against a blue background to simulate the night sky. Hatched, solid, or colored lines have been variously employed by globe makers to represent these different categories of information. Nonetheless, some 20th-century celestial globes were still designed according to the earlier practices of showing the constellations as illustrations of mythological figures and scientific instruments, or enclosed within curved rather than straight-line boundaries.

Denoyer-Geppert’s 1963 catalog offered 16-inch celestial globes at different price points: a 23-1/2 degree axis stand, a stand with a weighted base and movable meridian, a “Liberty Cradle with Horizon,” and the most expensive option — a movable meridian with horizon — which describes the globe offered here. The brief catalog copy reads, “Show stars down to 6th magnitude on a light blue background. Epoch of 1930. Map mounted on pole of equator.”

The Denoyer-Geppert Company was a Chicago-based globe manufacturer and school supplier. Read more about the firm in our Guide to Globe Makers.

Circular cartouche: CELESTIAL/ 16 INCH GLOBE/ SYMBOLS OF APPARENT MAGNITUDE/ 1st. 2nd. 3rd./ OTHERS/ Denoyer-Geppert Co./ Chicago 40, U.S.A./ Copyright 1956

Meridian fork stamped: Made in U.S.A./ D.G. CO./ CHICAGO

Horizon band marked: Denoyer-Geppert Co. Chicago

Condition: Generally very good — the colors fairly bright — with the usual overall light toning, wear, handling.


Denoyer-Geppert Catalog 63. Chicago: Denoyer-Geppert Company, 1963. p. 68.

“The Constellations.” International Astronomical Union. (4 December 2019).

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