Cary 12-Inch Celestial Globe

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The cartouche reads “CARY’S / NEW / CELESTIAL GLOBE, / are correctly laid down upwards of 3500 stars / selected from the most accurate observations / and calculated for the year 1800. / With the extent of each constellation precisely defined / By Mr. GILPIN of the ROYAL SOCIETY. / Made and Sold by J. & W. CARY. / Strand London Jan. 1 1816.”
The globe is held on a wooden pedestal with three curved legs. It has a wooden horizon circle and a brass meridian.
John Cary was a globe maker in London who began in business in 1791. For this globe (and a few other things) he worked with his brother William. George Gilpin worked as an assistant at the Royal Observatory at Greenwich for a couple of years, and as the clerk of the Royal Society of London from 1785 until his death in 1810.
Cary introduced his new 12-inch celestial globe and the terrestrial mate in 1798. This example is dated 1816.
Ref: Herbert George Fordham, John Cary: Engraver, Map, Chart and Print-Seller and Globe-Maker, 1754 to 1835 (Cambridge, 1925)
Currently not on view
date made
place made
United Kingdom: England, London
Physical Description
mahogany (overall material)
paper (overall material)
brass (overall material)
overall: 12 in; 30.48 cm
overall: 24 1/2 in x 16 1/2 in; 62.23 cm x 41.91 cm
ID Number
PH.392869 A
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Elsie Howland Quinby
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Measuring & Mapping
Data Source
National Museum of American History