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Globe, Miniature, Pocket Globe, Terrestrial with Celestial Case, Harris, Antique, London, 1809

2.75-Inch Terrestrial Pocket Globe in Celestial Case
Harris, 47 Holborn, London: 1809
Globe in fishskin case with brass fittings
Price on request

A 2.75-inch pocket globe, sold by Harris at 47 Holborn in London, having a Harris round seller’s cartouche with Harris’ name and address, and dated 1809. It was likely produced for Harris by pocket globe maker N. Lane, of London.  The globe is 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 — one with an applied engraved celestial chart of the Northern Sky, the other with an applied Southern Sky celestial chart. The outside of the case is covered with black pebbled fish skin and the rims of the case are painted green. The two halves are joined with a brass hinge and close with three brass hook-and-eyelet closures.

Product description continues below.


We have attributed this globe as having been produced by Nicholas Lane and successors in 1809 based on other extant examples of Lane pocket globes. For example, the cartography and typography as well as placement of the cartouche on this Harris globe is identical to an 1809 Lane pocket globe in a celestial fish skin case sold by George Glazer Gallery that has a round “Lane’s” makers’ cartouche. As is typical for Lane 1809 pocket globes, this example is made of 12 hand-colored engraved gores, colored in tones of pink, green, red, blue, and yellow, with thick outlines. Oceans are colored blue-green and show the routes of the explorers Admiral Anson and Captain Cook. The Antarctic is labeled “Frozen Ocean.” Australia is called New Holland. California is shown as a peninsula. The Great Wall of China (“Chinese Wall”) is indicated. Oceans are labeled: the Pacific as “Pacific Ocean and Great South Sea,” the Atlantic as the “Western or Atlantic Ocean” and the “Ethiopic Ocean,” and the Indian Ocean as the “Eastern Ocean.” The Antarctic and Arctic are each labeled “Frozen Ocean.” The ecliptic is graduated in days and showing the symbols of the houses of the zodiac, and the prime meridian is marked Meridian of London. 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 Lane firm, founded by Nicolas Lane (fl. 1775-1783), was a major producer of pocket globes. The first edition of the terrestrial globe offered here was issued by Lane in 1776. Dekker posits that at that time Lane might have obtained the copper plates for the celestial gores from the Cushee firm of globe makers when it was dissolved around 1775. Various updated pocket globes were produced under the Lane name by his successors during the first half of the 19th century. They were often sold by globe sellers, stationers, opticians and scientific instrument dealers, sometimes with their own name printed in the cartouche or pasted as a label over Lane’s cartouche. Such dealers include Thomas Harris, an optician in London whose name appears on the printed cartouche of the offered globe (not as a pasted overlabel). Another example is a Lane pocket globe in the possession of George Glazer Gallery marketed by Jacob and Halse, having a cartouche with that seller’s name in place of the Lane cartouche.

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. According to scholar Elly Dekker, Harris & Son was in business from 1802 to 1907. Initially, Thomas Harris was principally an optician and mathematical instrument maker.  He was joined, and then succeeded, by William in the early 19th century. The firm is known to have sold a Lane pocket globe, dated 1809 under the name Harris, 47 Holborn. A different extant 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.

Circular Cartouche with beaded edge: HARRIS/47/HOLBORN/LONDON/1809

Full publication information: Harris, 47 Holborn, London

Condition: The globe in fine condition overall, apparently with the original varnish and with no restorations of any damages, but with light remaining toning and war. Nonetheless, the original thick varnish layer is a bit deteriorated or abraded in a few very small areas having somewhat flaked away or having become slightly crystalized; generally these are all unobtrusive with the original printing on the globe gores under the varnish still intact but a slight roughness to the surface there. Case very good overall from the outside having a few scattered restored cracks and being slightly irregularly shaped. The printed gores on the concave insides of the case are well defined in black ink. A somewhat larger separation crack on the case has left the professionally restored closed crack with some discoloration on the celestial map on the inside, with a darkened glue stain shadow around it. The case retains all of its 3 eyehooks and clasps and closes completely though with only very slight shrinkage gaps where the two halves meet  — a common issue with pocket globes.  The various white bright spots seen in the pictures of this globe are from reflections of light; not actually present on the globe.


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