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Globe, English, Cary Cruchley, Terrestrial World, 12-Inch Floor Globe, Tripod Stand, Antique, London, 1868


George F. Cruchley (1797-1880)
12-Inch Terrestrial Floor Globe
G.F. Cruchley, London: 1868
Mahogany tripod stand
36 inches high; 17 inches diameter horizon band

The terrestrial globe is surmounted by a brass hour disc at the North Pole, within a calibrated full brass meridian. It is raised on an unusual mid-Victorian tripod mahogany and parcel ebonized stand decorated in the Aesthetic Movement taste, consistent in style with the 1868 date of the globe. The horizon band, with engraved paper calendar and zodiac, is supported by four mahogany quadrants joined with pairs of ogee brackets, and the central circular standard of the stand has a series of ebonized ring turnings. The hipped scrolled legs and scrolled feet are decorated with ebonized roundels, ending in brass casters.

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The globe is in tones of cream and olive with some outlining of geographical entities in various colors. State boundaries are not drawn on the United States, but dotted lines divide areas west of the Mississippi River, which have the general labels Northwest Territory, Indian Territory, Texas, New Mexico, Utah, Oregon and California. Alaska is labeled “Alaska.” Mountain ranges are shaded with hatch marks. The Antarctic coastline is largely unmapped, reflecting geographic knowledge at the time. There are also some sites labeled referring to explorations of Cook, Wilkes, Stuart, and others.

The brass meridian of the globe is engraved with a dedication dated January 1, 1803 from Master George W. Denys to his mathematical preceptor Mr. W. Richards “as a token of respect for his valuable Instructions.”  It is curious that the globe, dated 1868 has an engraved dedication on the meridian from 1803. There are a few plausible explanations for this discrepancy. First, it should be noted that the brass meridians of Georgian and early Victorian globes are generally easily removable by two bolts in a special nut at the north and south poles along the axis. It should also be noted that English globe makers often offered the service of updating earlier globes by removing the dated globe gores and replacing them with current gores exhibiting the latest discoveries and other geographical changes. So it might be that this globe — as issued by Cruchley as successor to Cary — is an updated earlier Cary globe from about 1800, retaining the original meridian. Another possibility is that this globe was originally issued with a different meridian, and that at some point an associated meridian — in this case the engraved presentation one dated 1803 — was attached to the globe instead, for an unknown reason. Regardless, the meridian is a very good fit for the Cruchley 1868 globe that it is on, appropriate stylistically in form and function; there was little change in design of English meridians from 1800 the mid 19th century.

Further regarding the 1803 engraved dedication on the brass meridian, the gift of a fine and expensive object such as a terrestrial  globe at this time would have only come from the member of an affluent family. Indeed, there was a George William Denys (1788-1857) who would have been a student 14 years old on that date, and whose mother was Lady Charlotte Fremor, daughter of the 2nd Earl of Pomfret. Therefore, it is plausible this was a gift from his family to his tutor. Denys attended Trinity College at Cambridge in 1806 and joined Lincoln’s Inn, a London society of barristers, in 1808. In 1812, he became Equerry to the Duke of Sussex, a position he held until 1843. That year, at the request of his uncle George, 3rd Earl of Pomfret, he was also made a Member of Parliament for Kingston upon Hull. He received the title of 1st Baronet of Blacklands House, Chelsea, Middlesex, a year later. He did not seek re-election at the end of his parliamentary term in 1818.

George Frederick Cruchley (1796-1880) was an engraver and map and globe maker in London. He began his long career as an apprentice to the mapmaker Aaron Arrowsmith and opened his own firm in 1823, acquiring and updating some of Arrowsmith’s engraved plates. Although his primary business was as a map seller and publisher, he also offered general engraving services and surveying. He published popular maps of London and environs and travel maps and guides to the British Isles and European countries. Around 1844 -1850, he purchased the map and globe gore plates of the celebrated Cary family of globe makers, which was was founded by John Cary (c. 1754-1835), a map engraver and seller. John Cary and his brother William, a specialist in scientific instruments, produced some of the greatest late Georgian globes under the name J. & W. Cary. According to authors Collins and Lamb “John Cary in partnership with his brother William were one of the foremost London map and globe sellers of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. They built up a thriving and prosperous business, both as instrument makers and map publishers.” John Cary moved his business to 86 St. James’s Street in about 1820, leaving his premises at 181 Strand to his sons George (c. 1788-1859) and John Jr. (1791 – 1852). The sons produced a variety of globes under the name G. & J. Cary from 1821 to about 1850. Then, Cruchley, as successor, continued to produce maps and globes under the Cary name, as well as under his own name, until about 1876.

Cartouche: CRUCHLEY’S/ NEW/ TERRESTRIAL GLOBE/ From the most recent Authorities,/ EXHIBITING THE DISCOVERIES IN EQUATORIAL/ AFRICA, NORTH POLE,/ AND the new SETTLEMENTS & Divisions of/ AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND,/ CALIFORNIA, TEXAS, &c./ LONDON/ C.F. CRUCHLEY, MAP-SELLER, GLOBE MAKER & PUBLISHER/ 81 FLEET STREET/ Natural Scale 1:41,817,600 660m to 1 in. [English Miles Scale]/ [rectangular overlabel] 1868.

Engraved dedication on meridian: “The Gift of Mast’r Geo. W. Denys, to his mathematical Preceptor Mr. W. Richards as a token of respect for his valuable Instructions. Jan’y 1st 1803.”

Condition: Generally very good with the usual expected light scattered surface wear, staining, soiling, fading, toning, and abrasions, all restored. Overall has a nice rich tone, very readable. Stand generally very good with the usual shrinkage and restorations to joints; recently French polished.


Batten, Kit and Francis Bennett. The Victorian Maps of Devon, 1838-1901. 2nd Ed. 2013. (1 August 2014).

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

Fordham, Sir Herbert George. John Cary, Engraver, Map, Chart and Print-Seller and Globe-Maker. London: Cambridge University Press, 1925.

Lamb, Tom and Jeremy P. Collins (ed.) The World In Your Hands. London: Christie’s, 1994.

Stokes, Winifred. “Denys, George William (1788-1857).” History of Parliament. 1964-2020. (16 September 2020).

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Wood, Mahogany