By 1928, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) had agreed upon the division of the celestial sphere into 88 interlocking “modern” constellations enclosed by boundaries with straight-line contours at right angles to each other that is still in use today. These boundaries enclosed the traditional pictorial representations of the constellations that date back to antiquity for the Northern Hemisphere, and for Southern Hemisphere constellations that were added in the 16th and 17th centuries after European navigators mapped the sky south of the Equator. Accordingly, many 20th-century globe makers followed the IAU approach by including the outlined boundaries used by astronomers while showing the constellations as lines connecting the bright stars within each respective constellation, generally against a blue background to simulate the night sky. Hatched, solid, or colored lines have been variously employed by globe makers to represent these different categories of information. Nonetheless, some 20th-century celestial globes were still designed according to the earlier practices of showing the constellations as illustrations of mythological figures and scientific instruments, or more generally as showing them enclosed within curved boundaries of these traditional constellations.
George Philip & Son began as a map and atlas publisher in Liverpool, England in 1834. In 1902, the firm relocated to London and emerged as one of the major globe producers of the 20th century. Read more on our Guide to Globe Makers.
Oval Cartouche: PHILIPS’/ Popular/ CELESTIAL GLOBE/ Magnitudes/ [key to 5th magnitude]/ LONDON/ G. PHILIP & SON, 32 FLEET ST.
Condition: Generally very good, rich blue color, having the usual overall very light toning and wear. Stand very good. White glare spots evident in the pictures of the globe shown here are not present as damage in actuality.
“The Constellations.” International Astronomical Union. https://www.iau.org/public/themes/constellations/ (4 December 2019).