Miniature terrestrial pocket globe in a celestial case made by Nathaniel Hill.


In stock

Question about this product?

A delightful miniature terrestrial pocket globe in a celestial case, 3 inches / 6.8 cm.

The globe consists of 12 wonderful varnished, engraved hand-coloured gores that stretch from pole to pole. In the original case of black fish-skin with a brass hinge and two brass hook-and-eyelet closures, case with a unique silver plaque which reads: “B. Bellchamber S. King – Gul’s Fox Summum Geographicum Praemium Pares Meruere”. *[This very roughly translates to:] “B. Bellchamber S. King – Gul’s Fox Earns Top Geographical Peers Award”. *Is it too much to suppose and speculate that this silver plaque attached to the outer case is in recognition of a [geographic?] scholastic achievement? The prize awarded to the lucky recipients (B. Bellchamber & S. King?) is this globe?

This terrestrial globe has two repairs; to the area concerning the British Isles, and also to parts of Europe and Scandinavia (with some loss). There is some slight loss to a portion of North America. There is a crack in the northern portion of South America. It is partly worn in other places and has some slight spotting. Lacking the axis metal pin, the two holes that allow for this pin have been closed. The case is split and segmented, partly rubbed and worn with cracks, (as is usual). The case will close. There is some minor chipping and cracking to the outer rim of the inside of the case. This particular globe shows California as a peninsula, whereas previously it had been depicted as an island – a misconception dating back to the sixteenth century; it has the northwest coast of America simply as “unknown parts.”; – due to a profound lack of knowledge of the region; the track of Admiral George Anson’s circumnavigation of the world (1740-44) is drawn – Anson led a squadron of eight ships on a mission to disrupt or capture the Pacific Ocean possessions of the Spanish Empire, for emphases, the trade winds are indicated by red arrows.

There are three large lakes engraved in Africa that may no longer exist. The celestial gores, housed within the case, are fun and eye-catching both in their display and in their content. Constellations and both hemispheres are represented. Gemini, Cancer, Virgo, Orion, Andromeda, Taurus, Leo, Ursa Major, etc in the north, and Scorpio, Libra, Canis Major, etc in the south. A celestial globe is a mapping of the stars and has been used since classical times. Celestial globes were first used by Greek astronomers, and later by the Islamic world, where the earliest known globes date from the eleventh century. The stars were thought to sit on the surface of a giant sphere around the earth, and the constant movement of the stars each night and throughout the year appeared to be caused by this giant sphere slowly turning overhead. In line with its counterpart, the terrestrial globe, celestial globes are mapped by a north and a south pole, an equator, and lines of latitude and longitude. The Terrestrial Globe: The North Pole encompasses the Arctic Circle, Baffin Bay (Canada), Iceland, Greenland, northern Siberia, and Nuova Zembla. Europe shows the Dominion of Muscovy (a principality of the late Middle Ages centered on Moscow), Turkey, the British Isles, Italy, etc. Africa highlights the Barbary coast, Biledulgerid (a former country in North Africa), the Zaara Desart (Sahara Desert), Negroland (an archaic term in European mapping referring to large portions of West Africa), Guinea, Ethiopia, Congo, the islands of the Azores and the Canaries. Australia (New Holland) shows the outdated cartography of an incomplete coastline; The West Australian and Northern Territory coastlines are in full, however, there is no connected mainland coastline from South Australia up to Northern Queensland. Papua New Guinea is still thought to be a part of the Australian mainland. A portion of Tasmania’s coastline is engraved. The only places/regions mentioned are Dimens Land and Carpentaria in the north; Lewins, St. Francis, Mary’s Island, South Cape, and Dimens Land in the south. Interestingly, a place named Hartog’s Island is mentioned off the West Australian coast. This island has a unique place within Australia’s history as it is the first recorded European landing on Australian soil in 1616 by the island’s namesake, Dutch captain Dirk Hartog, fully 150 years before Capt. James Cook officially discovered Australia for Great Britain. The continent of Asia depicts Independent Tartary, Great Tartary & Chinese Tartary (a European blanket term for the region of the Caspian Sea the Ural Mountains, and the Pacific Ocean), Persia, India, Ceylon, Arabia, Pegu, Siam, China, Japan, Borneo, Sumatra, Java, The Philippines, and the Celebes.

The South Pole is a space area with only minimal cartography; the Antarctic Circle, the Ice Sea, The Southern Ocean, and the southerly tips of Australia, New Zealand, and South America. North America shows California, New Mexico, Mexico or New Spain, Virginia, Maryland, Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Illinois, and New England. The Mississippi the North and the Long River are all indicated. Canada has the humorous “Unknown Parts”, New Britain, Hudson’s Bay, Lake Superior, New South Wales (!), Hurons, and the Laurence River. South America features Venezuela, Guiana, ‘Terra Firma’, Amazones, the Amazon River, Lake Zaraies (Xaraies or Lake Parime – the supposed location of the fabled city of gold EL DORADO!), Lima, Peru, La Plata, Patagonia, Brazil, and Chile. It names Quito, Lima, St. Catherine’s Island, the River Plate, Tucama, and Magellan’s Strait. There is some attempt at border delineation. Central America and the Caribbean are well represented with Bermuda, Jamaica, Cuba, Barbados, the Antilles Islands etc. The various oceans are all provided with wind arrows – highlighting the prevailing trade winds. The Atlantic is blessed with the delightful rococo-style title cartouche. The Pacific indicates numerous islands, both large and small. The track of Anson’s voyage is highlighted in colour and marked by dotted lines.

Background information on Nathaniel Hill: It is safe to say that Nat Hill (fl. 1746-1748) had impeccable credentials and was one of the most sought-after English globe makers of the mid-eighteenth century. From 1731 he was apprenticed to the map maker, publisher, surveyor, and globe maker Richard Cushee (1696-ca.1734) who operated ‘at the sign of The Globe & Sun’ between Chancery Lane and St. Dunstan’s Church in London. Hill worked initially as a surveyor on the Yorkshire Fens. He eventually became a maker of globes and mathematical instruments.



Year of Publication


Product Number