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Globe, English, Adams, Terrestrial World, 18-Inch Floor Globe, Tripod Stand, Antique, London, 1798

Dudley Adams (1762-1830)
18-Inch Terrestrial Floor Globe
London: c. 1798
Mahogany tripod stand
44 inches high, 24 inches diameter

An 18th century George III floor globe on a mahogany tripod floor stand by Dudley Adams, who along with other family members were among the greatest scientific instrument and globe makers in Georgian England.

The terrestrial globe is surmounted by a calibrated brass northern polar hour circle in a calibrated full brass meridian ring. The horizon band with engraved paper calendar and zodiac is supported by four molded curved quadrant uprights. The quadrants are joined below the equator with two discontinuous brass rod circular tropical rings, and the horizon has a half brass rod circular ring extending from its center through the meridian at 23.5 degrees — characteristic of Adams globes. The mahogany tripod stand has a ring-turned round central tapering standard and downswept legs ending in brass casters. The legs are centered over a brass three-part medial compass stretcher with an engraved paper circular compass in a round glazed mahogany case with magnetized needle, the engraved paper calibrated by compass direction and decorated with a sun face at the center surrounded by the block letter inscription “D. Adams Charing Cross London.”

Product Description Continues Below.


Landmasses and waters are generally in various tones of olive and off-white colors, many with green outlines, and some with pink or orange outlines. In the United States, New England is shown instead as Anglia Nova. N. York, Pennsylvania, and Delaware are named. In the southern United States, Virginia, N. Carolina, S. Carolina, Georgia and Florida are indicated extending west to the Mississippi. The western portion of the United States is shown with several rivers, but otherwise minimal cartography of unexplored regions labeled Louisiana, Nova Mexico, Albion, Teguayo, Quivira Regio and California. The west is also shown with various smaller regions and Native American tribes including Apaches and Apacheria. “Blackfoot Ind.” straddles the U.S.-Canadian border. Australia is labeled Hollandia Nova. Antarctica is blank because the coastline was unexplored. The tracks of the voyages of Captains Cook and Furneaux are shown with hatched lines and the island of Hawaii (“O’wyhee”) is labeled “Here Capt. Cook was Killed 1779.” Wind currents are indicated by arrows. On the Equator in the Pacific Ocean at the 210 degrees east/150 degrees west longitude line is a small ornamental design from which rhumb lines radiate and the wreathed cartouche is centered above it.

George Adams, Sr., (1704-72), the patriarch of the Adams family of globe makers, wrote numerous treatises on globes and scientific instruments including A Treatise Describing and Explaining the Construction and Use of New Celestial and Terrestrial Globes, published in London in 1766. He is thought to have purchased and used the globe gores developed earlier in the 18th century by John Senex and James Ferguson, the pioneers of British globe making. George’s sons, George Adams, Jr. (1750-95) and Dudley (1762-1830), continued the family business as instrument and globe makers in London. The Adams firm produced terrestrial and celestial floor and table globes, as well as pocket globes. Dudley Adams continued the business until 1817, when bankruptcy forced him to sell the pocket globe plates to the Lane firm, which reissued them in updated editions.

Cartouche Set in Wreath: Britanniarum/ REGI Augustissimo/ GEORGIO TERTIO./ Scientiarum Cultori pariter et Praesidio/ Globum hunc Terrestrem./ Omnes hactenus exploratos terrarum tractus, Ad./ Observationes Navigantium Itinerantium, et Astronomo/ rum recentiores accuratissime descriptos exhibentum/ Grati animi et pietatis monumentum/ D.D.Q./ Omni cultu et officio devinctissimius/ D. Adams./ Made by D. ADAMS, Globe Maker to the King, Ins’t Maker to his/ Majesty’s Ordn’ce, & Optician to H.R.H. The Prince of Wales,/ No. 60 Fleet Street London/ 1798.

Condition: Generally very good, recently professionally restored with the usual remaining expected light scattered surface wear, staining, soiling, fading, toning. Some cracks and abrasions professionally restored with some losses in South Pole region supplied in manuscript.  Original stand and compass.


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. 245.

Dekker, Elly and van der Krogt, Peter. Globes from the Western World. London: Zwemmer, 1993. p. 111-116.

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Wood, Mahogany