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Willem Janszoon Blaeu large library globes
Amsterdam 1645/48 & 1640
A very large pair of library globes made by
Willem Janszoon Blaeu

Diameter: 68 cm (26 inches)
Height: 100 cm
Width: 88 cm

The Terrestrial Globe 1645/1648:
Fourth State (circa 1645-1648).

signed in the advice to the reader:
"Guiljelmus Blaeu Auctor. Anno 1622"

The terrestrial globe is made up of 36 hand-coloured engraved half gores and two polar calottes. The prime meridian of Tenerife is used, with California shown as an island and the Great Wall of China represented pictorially.

The Celestial Globe 1640
Third State (after circa 1630).

signed in the advice to the reader:
"Guiljelmus Blaeuw"
dated in the cartouche 1640

The celestial globe made up of 24 hand-coloured engraved half gores and two polar calottes. The constellations are in three languages, Latin, Greek and Arabic. It is full of spectacular allegorical themes.

This matching important pair of globes belongs to the largest pair ever made in Amsterdam in the first half of the 17th century. The fourth and third states respectively are the usual and most attractive combination to be found.

A strong competitor of Blaeu was the Hondius family from Amsterdam (Jodocus I, Jodocus II and Hendrik, active between 1585 and 1650) also operating in Great Britain.

With the present pair of 68 cm globes, Blaeu wanted to underline his reputation as the greatest globe manufacturer in the world. Above all, the Blaeu maps have a higher degree of accuracy. The quality of precise engraving and the beautiful hand-colouring is unsurpassed. He used high quality handmade paper to make gores which were then laid in a globe form. Copper engravings of the various land masses inscribed to detail were carefully prepared and printed (mirror image) onto the paper. The globe itself was made of sturdy cardboard and covered with gesso.

Blaeu of course could profit from the formidable upcoming economic climate in The Netherlands during the early 17th century. He mastered many globes in different sizes and edited wonderful maps of the world. However, these large-sized globes were installed on board V.O.C. ships to navigate around the world and they were accurately adapted during the voyages.

Globes were a prime necessity and thus expensive tools. They have always been popular through- out time and their monetary values have been consistent.

Peter van der Krogt, 'Globi Neerlandici: The production of Globes in the Low Countries', Utrecht, 1993,
LA V no.5, p. 518.

The Princely Collections of Liechtenstein.

Condition Report in short:
After dismantling the various parts, all the gores including the calottes were carefully cleaned. The terrestrial globe has some minor pieces of old handmade paper inserted in the parts of Europe and Asia and the celestial globe at the northern ecliptic pole.
The paper of both horizon rings has been carefully cleaned. In certain areas some pieces of old handmade paper have been inserted. Some retouching’s in general have been carried out.
The hour rings and pointers have been renewed as well as the magnetic needle and the glass cover of both compasses.
The stands have been cleaned and the wooden adjustable triangle under the base support has been renewed.

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