THE AFRICAN CORONELLI GLOBES ( This page is under construction)








Female Celestial stand nearing completion











Coronelli's 106 cm Globes, were in fact an early example of a Do-It Yourself home assembly kit. This was for two reasons, the globe gores were first published as an atlas and secondly because the globes intended size was so large it would have been a logistical nightmare to transport them safely in the 18th century, wagons with no suspension and pot holed roads would have decimated the fragile plaster and lattice constructed globes. Consequently, globes were constructed in distant lands, far from Coronelli's printing press in Venice. This explains the variety of stands supporting existent surviving Globes.


The Blackmail Stand at the Stewart Museum




The Stewart Museum Montreal has in its collection an important Terrestrial Globe by Coronelli, its ornate stand consisting of four servile figures, wearing turbans and tobacco leaf skirts (presumeably the globe had links with the tobbacco industry) support the octagonal horizon ring. Another elaborate pair, and probably the finest stands ever made to support these globes are to be found in the Royal Library in Belgium.


We were commissioned by a leading map dealer the task of making a pair of Coronelli Globes using surviving gores, mounted on a stand of our choice. It is because of the Stewart Globes and the pair in the Royal Library, that we felt we had to attempt to raise our folio of skills and make a pair of elaborate figurative stands. We decided to make the theme being Africa as Coronelli depicts a decorative inscription on his 106cm terrestrial globe alluding to the source of the Nile. However while the Stewart's rendition showed servitude to the rapidly emerging European expansion, we decided to make our figures showing total independance, warriors standing proud for the terrestrial globe and their female counterparts supporting the celestial globe.



Gold Coast Chief ordorned with Gold. His right hand holds the Sun.


We selected tribal figures from all corners of the Great Continent- Zulu -South; Ivory Coast-West; Algerian- North and Dinka- West. We chose a pineapple meridian support and gave all the figures similar reeded skirts (pineapple leaves) to unify them. Each figure holds a sphere (representing a planet) in each hand, with its symbol portrayed. Both globes would have the Seven Govenors (planets that decide the fate of man). The terrestrial globe would have one additional sphere a celestial one - homage to the powers above. The celestial globe with its female figures, here its planets would rotate in the opposite direction to the terrestrial to give balance between the two globes, and the eighth planet was a small terrestrial globe.







The Terrestrial Globe depicts and was was dedicated to Giordano Bruno who was burnt at the stake for his belief in the new sciences that challenged the church.

The Celestial Globe depicts and was dedicated to Hernes Trismegistus who's Corpus Hermeticum was found and published at the beginning of the the Renaissance.









To be continued. e


Terrestrial Globeortrayedl. 6ounted onto a sphere or supplied with a pneumatic kit to enable home assembly by inflation.





Interstingly enough this globe is 106 cm diameter which is the same diameter as the Coronelli Globe, clearly there appears to be some international understanding relating to the larger sizes of published globes! Original surviving globes are now extremely rare. The images here are of a Henze Globe we have made using Henze's original gores. I do not think I have experienced such trouble in making a globe from original gores, this is because Adolf Henze published his gores on the finest hard glazed tissue which was extremely thin and fragile.



We are now able to offer this superb example of Germanic cartography on varying diameters from 20" to 43" (50cm to 106cms) on any of our existing stands or on bespoke


We will also make this globe available with a Blackwater sea.


Prices will depend on size and stand and match existing sizes within our collection.


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Greaves & Thomas, fine Globemakers, a potted history.

Award winning Globemakers Greaves & Thomas are a small company based in the United Kingdom, today they make Historical Globes, Celestial Globes, Lunar Globes, Planetary Globes, Facsimile Globes, Replica Globes, Themed Globes, Paper Folding Globes, and Modern Day Globes. Arts Corespondent Jemmy Button looks into their history.

In 1991 James Bissell-Thomas after several years of research, published his first globe (Merzbach & Falk's 1881 globe). The globe was well received, especially because of the ageing techniques developed to lend the globes a patina producing a convincing replica. James Bissell-Thomas believes that this was achieved because of his Art School background, his printing knowledge gained running his own publishing house in the 1980's (Long Tail Prints) combined with his knowledge as an antiques dealer. In 1991 the first globe joined an already existing eclectic range of furnishing ideas which included Giant Tennis Rackets, Rivercraft furniture, Hat Boxes etc. (most are still being made: www.gtstore.co.uk) . It was because of James Bissell-Thomas' interest in globes, that the decision was then made to form a collection of globes, spanning cartographic history from 1492 to the present day.

At the time James' knowledge in globes was poor, however a good friend at the Royal Geographical Society pointed out that the following year (1992) would be not only be the 500 year anniversary of the European discovery of the New World, but it would also be the anniversary of the earliest surviving terrestrial globe ~ Martin Behaim's 'Erdapfel'. This globe today resides in the Germanishes Museum in Germany, rightly described by Bissell-Thomas as the 'Holy Grail' of all globes, not just because of its age, but also because of the profusion of data inscribed on the globe, the globe is best described as a medieval geographical census describing the world beyond Europe, listing the origin of spices, metals, traditions, peoples, animals, islands and religions etc. not only this but the globe covered in beautiful illustrations by Glockendon.

Despite the globe being on an elaborate stand, with extremely detailed artwork, Greaves & Thomas still decided it would be wise to republish this fine relic. Appointments were then made with the Germanisches Museum and flights were booked. On arrival at the museum in September 1991, it transpired that the Germanisch Museum had its own globe publishing interest and was not interested in helping G&T achieve their goal. Consequently, they were given a very limited time to study the original globe and reference images they also commissioned from the Museum were later blocked and never arrived. While many would have given up, Greaves & Thomas decided that it would persevere, knowing that what ever they produced would ultimately be compared to a rival globe that would have the Museum's seal of approval. All possible data concerning the globe was sourced and the finished result once again was well received, and is today is considered one of the most important globes in their collection.

In August 1992 when the Martin Behaim Globe was completed, Bissell-Thomas proudly informed the Germanish Museum that despite their reluctance to help, he had succeeded in making their facsimile. Soon after this 3 overseas business men arranged to come and see their Behaim Globe, at the time Greaves & Thomas was trading from 2 small garages in a small muddy yard, then even the two garages were not room enough, and a small 12' white square marquee had been hurriedly erected in the yard as a temporary measure. When the visitors arrived, they spent considerable time inspecting the globe, and then had an impromptu board meeting by themselves in the rain in the muddy yard, they re-entered, and announced that 2 of them were presidents of two globe companies, Rath Globes from Germany and Cram Globes from the USA. They informed Greaves & Thomas that they had been working with the Gemanishes Museum to produce their facsimile version, however upon inspection of the globe, they stated that they were keen to cease production of their own efforts and to market the G &T globe. This they did, with considerable success including selling one example to the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. Not only this, but the Gemanishes Museum also ordered a globe for themselves.

Greaves & Thomas have, on more than one occasion, offered to make the Germanische Museum's version, which would be one step closer to the original, but to date they have declined. The Greaves & Thomas version can now be found in numerous museums around the world.

From this point onwards, Greaves and Thomas would only concentrate on globes, initially historical globes but soon branching into themed globes: Holbein's Terrestrial Globe; Shakespeare's Globe; Alice's Celestial Globe and lastly the ludicrous Elvis Presley Mars Globe is another example of the diversity that can be achieved in globemaking, if one cares to explore the possibility of producing something other than the norm.


Today alongside their Themed Globes, Historical Replica Globes and their Modern Day Globes, Greaves & Thomas have also added the spectacular 'Hermetic Globe' to their Collection and this will soon be followed by a production version of their amazing Invisible Globe.


Greaves & Thomas now also have now formed an interesting collection of globes made in the last 300 years by other globemakers, this 500 strong collection will soon be prominently displayed in the Museum that they are presently preparing on the Isle of Wight. This should be a Mecca for designers as it will show numerous different versions of the same object. Not only this, but they will be using the Sistine Chapel's ceiling as inspiration to make a stunning celestial ceiling, and at the same time show one of the finest optical illusions in the world.


A surprising aspect of Greaves & Thomas is that they produce all their Globes in the UK. While numerous companies in the UK now relocate their production to the far east, in order to survive in today's cut throat market, G&T continue to produce a quality product which is well received. Their workforce never more than 5 craftpersons, and the globes they offer are limited by craft instead of number, this is verified in the small numbers of certain globes produced each year ( for example 2-6 Coronelli Globes per year and 5-12 Behaim Iron Stand Versions per year) , consequently there is always a waiting list for the larger more intricate globes that Greaves & Thomas produce. The globes are made using recycled papers and the wooden components for the elaborate stands are also made using reclaimed / recycled timber. Consequently Greaves & Thomas globes will never cost the Earth.


Jemmy Button, Arts Corespondent