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Globe, Dutch, J.B. Wolters, Terrestrial, 4-Inch Table Globe, 4-leg Stand, Groningen, c. 1924-30


Christiaan Leendert van Balen (1870-1943) (editor)
4-Inch Terrestrial Table Globe (Aardglobe)
J.B. Wolters, Groningen, The Netherlands: c: 1924-1930
Tin drum stand
6.5 inches high, 6.25 inches diameter overall

The terrestrial globe is set within a painted tin meridian circle graduated in four quadrants and raised on a painted tin stand. The stand is comprised of a  horizon band with printed zodiac and calendar on a round frieze decorated with alternating stars and circles, supported by four rectangular legs joined by an x-form stretcher with rectangular elements. The globe is comprised of 12 gores and two polar calottes, the equatorial and Greenwich meridian graduated in degrees, the ecliptic graduated in degrees 0 to 360 with signs for the houses of the zodiac. The continents are colored shades of yellow, orange, tan, green, and red, outlined in blue, with the shading within each country reflecting the relative elevation of different areas. Oceans are blue (faded). Countries, major cities, major rivers and bodies of water, and some mountain ranges are labeled in Dutch. Leningrad is shown, dating the geography after 1924; Constantinople is  shown, indicating a date prior to 1930.

Product description continues below.


This globe was created as an educational device for Dutch students to study geography and astronomy. It is credited in the cartouche to C.L. van Balen, a prolific author of textbooks on various subjects including geography, mathematics, electricity, and the life and works of Rembrandt van Rijn. In 1933, Van Balen edited two school atlases for J.B. Wolters that were widely used in the Netherlands and Dutch colonial territories.

The firm J.B. Wolters was founded in Groningen in 1836 as the Schoolbook Publishing House by Jan Berends Wolters (1808-1860). Over the succeeding decades, the firm became a leading producer of textbooks and academic materials, opening branches in The Hague in 1915 and in Jakarta (then known as Batavia), Indonesia,  in 1920. The firm merged with P. Noordhoff to form Wolters-Noordhoff in 1968, which has since become Noordhoff Uitgevers, the largest publisher in the Netherlands, specializing in educational materials for both schoolchildren and adults.

Cartouche: AARDGLOBE/ door/ C.L. VAN BALEN./ J.B. Wolters./ Groningen./ Den Haag./ Batavia. [World Globe of C.L. van Balen. J.B. Wolters, Groningen, The Hague, Batavia].

Condition: The globe generally very good with the usual overall light toning and wear. Poles professionally restored (reinforced). The stand with a bit of wear, abrasions, oxidation, bending and minor dents, still overall very good.


“Balen, C.L. van (Christiaan Leendert) 1870-1943.” WorldCat Identities. (26 July 2021).

“J.B. Wolters.” Wikipedia. 22 April 2020. (26 July 2021).

Ormeling, Ferjan. “School atlases for a colonial society: The Van Gelder/Lekkerkerker school atlases for the Netherlands East Indies 1880-1952.” International Symposium on “Old Worlds-New Worlds”: The History of Colonial Cartography 1750-1950. Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands, 21 to 23 August 2006. p. 7. Online at (26 July 2021).

“Over ons [About Us].” Noordhoff. (26 July 2021).

Additional information

Maker Location


Globe Type



Painted metal, Tin