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Globe, American, Joslin, Celestial, 9-Inch Table Globe, Pedestal Walnut Stand, Antique, Boston, c. 1850s

Josiah Loring
9.5 Inch Celestial Table Globe
Gilman Joslin, successor to Josiah Loring, Boston: mid 19th Century
Turned mahogany base, brass half meridian
13 inches high, 9 inch diameter base

The celestial globe is inclined at an angle in a stationary uncalibrated half meridian and raised on a turned wooden mahogany stand with central baluster standard and dish base. The globe is undated, but was quite possibly made in the 1850s based on a similar example of a  9.5 inch Loring terrestrial table globe dated 1854.  Although it bears the name of Josiah Loring as maker, it was likely issued by Gilman Joslin, who by the 1850s had succeeded to the Loring firm.

The constellations, including zodiac signs, are well delineated and elegantly depicted by figures of mythical beasts and scientific instruments. The stars are shown to five orders of magnitude and many individual stars are labeled with numbers, letters, and in the case of brighter ones like Sirius, with their names. The constellations are outlined or filled in shades of blue, green, tan, and grey.

Product description continues below.


Gilman Joslin (1804-c. 1886), one of America’s most prolific globe makers, began making globes for Josiah Loring (1775-c. 1840) in 1837, and took over the business two years later. Loring had begun selling globes in 1832. He advertised that his globes were superior to British globes of the period. Yet early Loring globes were either imported from C. Smith & Sons, one of the leading British globe makers of the late Georgian period, or re-engraved versions of Smith & Sons globes. Gilman Joslin began as a wood turner and maker of looking glass mirrors. After taking over Loring´s business, he began producing globes under the Loring name and under his own name. Joslin set up a globe manufacturing facility in Boston and by 1850 had five workers. Gilman Joslin was joined by his son William B. Joslin in 1874 and the firm continued in operation as Gilman Joslin & Son until 1907.

Joslin & Son’s globe handbook states that their globes were useful for instructing students in geography and “[f]or library or office use [were] no less valuable, showing…at a glance, the true relative situations of Political and Geographical Divisions, Cities, etc., the world over.” The handbook also enumerated various “advantages” of Joslin globes:

“They may be depended upon as accurate, the plates having lately been revised to correspond with all recent political changes. All the maps are printed directly from copper plates, and are not lithographed. The meridians are accurately graduated. The varnish is warranted not to crack or peel off, a common failing. The stands are thoroughly and firmly fitted together, and the general workmanship throughout is of the first order.”

Joslin’s Hand-Book, pp. 3-4

Oval Cartouche: LORING’S/  Nine and half Inch/ CELESTIAL GLOBE/ CONTAINING/ all the Stars to the fifth Magnitude inclusive/ From the Maps of the Stars Published by the Society/ for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge/ Drawn and Engraved by W.H. Annin/ BOSTON – JOSIAH LORING

Condition: Generally very good with the usual light over toning, wear to surface, soiling, etc. Light overall flecking. No significant cracks, damages, or repairs. Overall bright, readable, colorful, and attractive.


Dekker, Elly and van der Krogt, Peter. Globes from the Western World. London: Zwemmer, 1993.  pp. 126, 140, 176.

How to Use a Globe, Joslin’s Terrestrial and Celestial Globes/ Joslin’s Hand-book to the Terrestrial and Celestial Globes.  Gilman Joslin & Son, Manufacturers and Dealers, 5 Mt. Vernon Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts:  [n.d., but c. 1890], pp. 3-4.

Warner, Deborah Jean. “The Geography of Heaven and Earth,” Rittenhouse Journal of the American Scientific Instrument Enterprise, Vol. 2, No. 3. 1987. pp. 100-103.

Yonge, Ena L. A Catalogue of Early Globes, Library Series No. 6. American Geographical Society: 1968. pp. 37-38.

Additional information

Maker Location


Globe Type



Hardwood, Wood, Mahogany