Pair of globes
Newton & Son
Material: Wood and paper
Size: 45 x 57 cm
review by gherardo turchi
Both the 1:50.000.000 scale globe and vault we’re going to analyse were realised in 1851, as the label each of them is provided with proves.
The first shows the Earth surface, whose Western and Eastern hemispheres are clearly recognisable. The second describes the vault consisting of the Northern and Southern ones.
The label each of them is equipped with allows us to ascribe both to Newton & Son’s, one of England’s most renowned globe production company. It was founded in London in 1783 by John Newton (1759-1844).
He was one of Thomas Bateman’s apprentices and realised his first globe along with William Palmer, such a renowned eighteenth-century mapmaker.
Initially known as Globe & Son’s – 128 Chancery Lane – the company moved to 97 Chancery Lane in 1803 and to 66 Chancery Lane in 1817.
Each family member is known to have realised several globes. That helps us ascribe much more accurately both the artworks we’re analysing. George Newton, for instance, carried out a 38 cm diameter globe in 1787. James, in 1801, realised then another one measuring 31 cm in diameter.
As of 1818 Globe & Son’s turned into Newton & Son and J. & W. Newton’s to get William’s – John’s son – entry into the company widely known.
As a patent officer, he played an important role in getting the company further renowned. Its name was then turned into Newton, Son & Berry’s in the early 1830’s since Miles Berry, patent officer as well as civil engineer, joined the company.
William’s son, William Edward (1818-1879), became a member of its in 1838. The company would be then known as Newton & Son’s till 1883 approximately. William’s other sons’ entries, such as Alfred Vincent’s first and Frederick’s then, didn’t cause the company to change its name. It however moved to 3 Fleet Street.
London’s Great Universal Exhibition (1851) was such a success for Newton & Son’s. It was asked to show all its globes, most of them measuring 2,52 to 63,5 cm in diameter. Its 182 cm diameter globe was so appreciated the company was awarded a medal.
Greatly preserved, each of the artworks we’re analysing is made of walnut wood, finely inlaid and supported by a tripod. Similar items were usually asked by rich noble people to get their residences further improved on the one side. By mapmakers, geographers and astronomers on the other.
“Newton’s, new & improved, celestial globe, on which all the Stars Nebulae & Clusters contained in the extensive Catalogue of the late F. Wollaston F.R.S. are accurately laid down their Right Ascensions & Derlina having been recalculated for the Year 1810, by W. Newton. Manufactured by Newton & Son, Chancery Lane, London, published Jan 1851” writing the vault is signed with is certainly meant to enhance it.