A rare twelve inch celestial globe on tabletop stand by Malby & Co, Houghton Street, Newcastle Street, Strand, London.
This superb globe comes complete with original coloured paper gores showing the constellations, brass meridian circle and with horizon ring papered onto a turned mahogany tripod base.
The globe is collated from the works of astronomers Piazzi, Bradley, Hevelius, Mayer, la Caille & Johnson, reduced to the year 1850 by John Addison. Addison was previously an engraver and globe maker to George IV and it seems that Thomas Malby was given production rights to Addison’s work or was working closely with him at some point between 1839 and 1850.
The globe further states that it is “manufactured and published under the superintendence of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge” which is perhaps where the right to use Addison’s work was disseminated. The Society itself had already ceased to exist by 1846 but its maps and plates continued to be used by various publishers up until the end of the nineteenth century. The organisation was originally founded by Henry Brougham in 1826 in an attempt to provide cheap informative works to a public that were already benefiting from the rise of mass publication. Its maps and atlases were finely engraved and extremely accurate for the period and still keenly collected.
Malby & Co were formed in 1839 by Thomas Malby senior and the firm continued to produce globes under family ownership until the early twentieth century. Best known for their production of a very large 36 inch exhibition globe in 1849 based upon John Addison’s work.
This piece was produced shortly after the production of their famous globe when the firm were at the height of their fame and at the same period as The Great Exhibition. Examples of their early output are rare, which makes this an uncommon example of their work. It was later superceded by their 1860 globe.