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Globe, American, Joslin, Copley, Terrestrial, 16-Inch Floor Globe, Tripod Rococo Iron Stand, Antique, Boston, c. 1863 (Sold)

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Charles Copley (act. 1843-69)
16-Inch Terrestrial Floor Globe
Boston: c. 1863 – 1866
Cast iron rococo tripod stand
43 inches high

The terrestrial globe, with calibrated brass hour circles at north and south poles, within a calibrated brass full meridian, the horizon band with engraved paper calendar and zodiac, supported on a cast iron rococo revival stand decorated throughout with raised relief acanthus and classical leaf decoration, having three quadrants below the horizon band emanating from a central baluster standard, raised on curved hipped legs with foliate capped feet, ending in casters.

Product description continues below.


Geographical entities are in tones of in tones of green, pink, blue and yellow, and with continents and some islands in heavy green outline. Oceans are cream color. Mountain ranges are shaded. The transatlantic cable is shown by a continuous black line between Ireland and Newfoundland. The Meridian of Greenwich is shown in addition to the Equator, the Ecliptic and a figure-eight analemma. Various keys, information, and the maker’s name are printed on the horizon band rather than directly on the globe.

The offered globe can be dated to about 1863 to 1866 based on the cartography in the Upper Midwest and Southwestern United States, noting however that boundary changes were not necessarily immediately reflected on a globe produced that same year. The boundaries of Idaho Territory on the globe are those that existed prior to 1864 when parts of Idaho Territory were ceded to Montana Territory and Dakota Territory. Indeed, Montana, Wyoming, and a separate Dacota Territory are not yet indicated as such on the globe. Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico are shown with the boundaries they had between 1863 and 1866, when the northwest portion of Arizona Territory west of the Colorado River became the southeastern tip of Nevada. Minnesota is colored with the earlier boundaries it had prior to statehood in 1858, including “Dacota” in the western portion of Minnesota; presumably this is an aspect that had yet to be updated, rather than reflecting an earlier date of manufacture of the globe. The regions of many Native American tribes are labeled including “Black Feet,” “Nezperces,” Shoshones, Crows, Arickarees, Pawnees, and Apaches. Alaska is called “Russian America,” as it was known prior to 1867. The Baja peninsula is called “Lower California.” Large areas of the interior of Africa are unexplored and left blank, as is most of the coastline of Antarctica.

This and related 16-inch Joslin globes are based on a globe originally copyrighted in 1852 by Charles Copley, a Brooklyn, New York engraver and map maker, and do not have a maker’s name cartouche on the globe as otherwise is typical for 19th century American, English, and European globes. Instead, the information typically found on a cartouche is printed on the paper horizon band. Here, the offered globe is named on the horizon “Copley’s Improved Globe, Boston” and bears the Copley 1852 copyright. As the originator of this form of 16-inch globe in the United States, Copley received a gold medal for both the terrestrial globe and a companion celestial globe at the 1852 Fair of the American Institute in New York. Extant examples of the original 1852 issue of the Copley globe state on the horizon that it was “constructed by Charles Copley, Hydrographer, New York,” and “engraved by C.J. and F. Copley, N. York.” These original examples were sold as “Copley’s Improved Globe, New York,” by E. & G.W. Blunt, New York, a maritime instrument and map maker. They are characterized by highly detailed cartography with numerous place names, and up-to-date delineations of states and territories in the United States. Copley 16-inch terrestrial and celestial globes were revised and reissued numerous times throughout the second half of the 19th century, often with updated titles and with the names of globe makers that issued them printed on the horizon band, namely Gilman Joslin in Boston, or the Franklin group of globe makers of Troy, New York. These makers issued 16-inch table and floor globes on a wide variety of stands. The legend on the horizon of this globe — “Copley’s Improved Globe, Boston” — suggests that it might have been issued by Gilman Joslin. It should be noted, however, that the offered globe has a later facsimile paper horizon and calendar band applied to horizon ring thought to be accurate as to maker, title, and date, but not known for certain. Read more about these firms in our Guide to Globe Makers: Copley and Joslin.

Publication information on horizon band: COPLEY’S IMPROVED GLOBE. BOSTON. Entered according to the Act of Congress in the year 1852, by Charles Copley in/ the Clerks office of the District Court of the Southern District of New York.


“Blunt (New York).” Smithsonian National Museum of American History. (1 August 2014).

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

“E. & G.W. Blunt Octant.” Smithsonian National Museum of American History. (25 June 2009).

Guthorn, Peter J. United States Coastal Charts: 1738-1861. Atglen, Pennsylvania: Schiffer Books, 1984. p. 65.

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



Cast iron


Rococo Revival