Terestrial/Celestial globe pair could find their way to $35,000 at tonight's auction

Old World Auctions is of course a map specialist, selling maps from all eras and giving fascinating insights into how people viewed the world at various times. Old maps can also be items of great beauty with spectacular illustrations, as well as giving a look into the spiritual views of their place and time of origin.

 But the auctioneer doesn't limit itself to the two-dimensional. In an auction closing tonight, it is offering two extraordinary antique desk globes, dated precisely to 1831.

The 13" x 13" globes were produced by Wilson & Son's Co. James Wilson was a farmer and, more importantly, a blacksmith who fashioned these hand-coloured globes with the help of copper and bronze. They stand on mahogany supports, making them 18" in height in total.

Terrestrial 1831 globe
The terrestrial 1831 globe, showing New Holland

They are a pair because one is a familiar terrestrial globe depicting the discoveries of the great expeditions of Cook, La Perouse and Vancouver, whilst the other is a traditional celestial globe.

The former's peculiarities include Australia being referred to as alternately New Holland and Australasia. In North America, the US border with Canada is shown only as far as Montana, whilst Texas is lost within Mexican territories.

The celestial globe is livelier, representing the known constellations as allegories including the lesser known Perseus and the Head of Medusa.

1831 celestrial globe
The gods stalks the skies of the 1831 celestrial globe

Professionally restored and re-varnished, the globeswere in any case well preserved despite evidence of a minor impact on the terrestrial globe. Together they are expected to sell for $30,000-35,000.

The auction closes at 6pm tonight (February 15) EST. Watch this space for the results.

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