Willem Jansz BLAEU. Terrestrial Table Globe. Amsterdam, 1602 [but after 1621]
Willem Jansz BLAEU (1573 – 1638)
Terrestrial Table Globe
The globe made up of 12 engraved globe gores, hand-colored in outline, a few old stress cracks and some light restoration of globe surface, later varnish. The globe with a brass meridian circle (without graticule) is mounted in a 20th century Dutch-style 4-legged ebonized oak stand, with the horizon papered, but slightly lifting.
Amsterdam, 1602 [but after 1621]
Diameter 9 in.; Height 15 in.
One of the earliest commercial globes to be issued by the Blaeu firm. Willem Blaeu, its founder, had worked with Tycho Brahe, the esteemed astronomer, from 1595 to 1596, and using Brahe’s new star catalog (not yet published), he issued a celestial globe for Anthonisz. Soon after, in 1598, he moved to Amsterdam to set up his own map and globe business. Seeing a gap in the market for a Dutch globe maker he set up in competition with Hondius, and by becoming the Globe maker to the VOC (Dutch East India Company) for whom he would supply terrestrial and celestial globes to all VOC ships, he cemented his position in the globe market. In the period 1598 to 1616, he produced pairs of globes at 6 different sizes, and by buying up the copper plates of his competition in Amsterdam, he soon became the premier globe maker of the world.
The 9-inch Blaeu globe is rare with only 18 pairs listed as extant, and of this number, 13 are in institutional hands and a further 18 individual celestial or terrestrial globes of the 23cm globe are recorded. This example is in the third state for the terrestrial [the first two states are recorded but no example known].