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Globe, Miniature, Pocket Globe, Terrestrial with Celestial Case, Antique, Thomas Harris, London, early 19th C. (SOLD)

Thomas Harris (died 1837)
2.75-Inch Terrestrial Pocket Globe in Celestial Case
T. Harris & Sons, London, early 19th Century
Fishskin case with brass fittings

This item is sold. It has been placed here in our online archives as a service for researchers and collectors.

An English terrestrial pocket globe of typical form. The terrestrial globe has engraved hand-colored gores and axis pins at the poles. It is contained within a spherical conforming case opening into two concave hemispheres, each with a celestial chart of half the sky, including Northern and Southern constellations in each half, bisected by an equator. The outside of the case is covered with black pebbled fish skin and the rims of the case are painted red. The two halves are joined with a brass hinge and close with three brass hook-and-eyelet closures. The globe has an oval cartouche naming it “New Terrestrial Globe” by T. Harris & Sons, London.

Product description continues below.


The terrestrial globe has 12 hand-colored engraved gores. Land masses are colored pink, green and yellow with thick outlines in slightly darker shades. Oceans are colored green. California is shown as a peninsula and west of the Mississippi only shows areas generally labeled Louisiana, New Albion and New Mexico. The Great Wall of China (“Chinese Wall”) is indicated. The North Pole and The South Pole as so labeled. No land is shown in Antarctica, reflecting known geography at the time. Australia is called New Holland. Oceans are labeled: the Pacific as “North Pacific Ocean” and “South Pacific Ocean;” the Atlantic as the “North Atlantic Ocean,” “South Atlantic Ocean;” and “Ethiopic Ocean,” and the Indian Ocean as the “Indian Sea” and “Eastern Ocean.” The ecliptic is graduated in days and shows the symbols of the houses of the zodiac. The concave celestial hemispheres inside the case illustrate the constellations as figures of classical mythology and as scientific instruments in black outline against a solid green background.

The Harris family — Thomas Harris (d. 1837) and his son William Harris (1797-1846) — were London opticians who also sold and later produced terrestrial and celestial globes.  Initially, Thomas Harris was principally an optician and mathematical instrument maker.  He was joined, and then succeeded, by William in the early 19th century. According to scholar Elly Dekker, Harris & Son was in business from 1802 to 1907. The firm is known to have sold a Lane pocket globe, dated 1809 under the name Harris, 47 Holborn. A different extant table globe was produced by the firm under the name W. Harris, 22 Cornhill, London. In 1820, as Thomas Harris and Son, the firm produced “A New Celestial Globe,” 12 inches in diameter. According to the cartouche of that globe the firm marketed itself as “Opticians and Globe Makers; To his Majesty and their Royal Highnesses The Dukes of Kent and Sussex.” At that time the firm’s address was 52 Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury, London.

Oval cartouche on globe: New/ Terrestrial/ Globe/ By T Harris & Son/ London.

Oval cartouche on celestial chart: New/ Celestial/ Globe/ By/ T. Harris & Son/ London


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. pp. 54-55, 128-129, 131, 393-394.

Dekker, Elly. “Miniature and Pocket Globes: The Gentleman’s Toy.” in Lamb, Tom and Collins, Jeremy. The World in Your Hands: An Exhibition of Globes and Planetaria. London: Christie’s, 1994. pp. 66, 76.

Additional information

Maker Location




Globe Type

Celestial case, Terrestrial


19th Century