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Globes in Art, American, Joslin Solar Telluric Globe, Still Life Painting by Thomas Prentiss (Reserved)

Thomas Prentiss (1920-after 1982)
[Still Life with Joslin Solar Telluric Globe]
American: 1958
Tempera on panel
Signed and dated
10.75 x 13.75 inches, stretcher
15.25 x 18 x 1.5 inches, frame

Highly detailed realist painting of a Joslin 6-Inch “Solar Telluric Globe.” It is incorporated into a still life study with a spherical geometry puzzle model and a sea-worn shell, all arranged on a wooden table in front of a weathered gray wood panel. The panel and the front edge of the table are painted in a trompe-l’oeil manner, including the artist’s signature and date, which appear carved into the table. The artist, Thomas Prentiss, very accurately depicts the device including all the various hardware and the brass meridian holding the globe. He even shows typical oxidation aging on the iron base often present on extant antique examples.

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The Solar Telluric Globe was an innovative American globe and demonstration device for studying principles of astronomy related to the earth’s annual revolution around the sun and its daily rotation, including changes of seasons, night and day, world time, and eclipses. It incorporated Joslin’s 6-Inch terrestrial globe. Gilman Joslin, one of the leading American globe makers of the 19th century, manufactured this device in Boston from about the 1850s to the 1890s.

For more information enter “Solar Telluric Globe” in the search box for this website.

Read more about Joslin in our Guide to Globe Makers.

Thomas (Tom) Prentiss was an American scientific illustrator and painter. He was associated with the artist colony at Dowling College on Long Island. He published illustrations in Scientific American during the 1960s and 1970s.

Condition: Generally fine overall with only light wear. In black-stained oak frame with faux wood worming, and inner liner with applied linen and gold bevel – probably original to the painting.


Dekker, Elly and van der Krogt, Peter. Globes from the Western World. London: Zwemmer, 1993. pp. 126, 140, 176.

How to Use a Globe, Joslin’s Terrestrial and Celestial Globes/ Joslin’s Hand-book to the Terrestrial and Celestial Globes. Gilman Joslin & Son, Manufacturers and Dealers, 5 Mt. Vernon Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts: [n.d., but c. 1890], pp. 3-4.

Manual for Joslin’s New Solar Telluric Globe, Designed for the Use of Families, Schools and Academies. Boston: G. Joslin, 1866 [copyright 1852].

Prentiss, Tom. “The Case of the Misidentified Stranger.” New York Times. 10 November 1982. (25 August 2011).

“The Estate and Environs: The Farm and Later Artist Colony.” Dowling College. 2003-2011. (25 August 2011).

Warner, Deborah Jean. “The Geography of Heaven and Earth,” Rittenhouse Journal of the American Scientific Instrument Enterprise. Vol. 2, No. 3. 1987. pp. 100-103.

Yonge, Ena L. A Catalogue of Early Globes, Library Series No. 6. American Geographical Society: 1968. pp. 37-38.

Additional information


20th Century