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ID number:  BIRRC-A0163
Institution:  Research and Cultural Collections
Named collection:  Campus Collection of Fine and Decorative Art
Artist / Maker:  Thomas & Charles Malby
Title / Object name:  Celestial Globe
Object type:  Furniture
Culture:  British
Materials:  Walnut, papier mache
Measurements:  147.32 x 45.72 cm
BIRRC-A0163a.jpg

A celestial globe is a three-dimensional map of the stars, invented in classical times. The stars were first believed to sit on the inside surface of a giant sphere around the Earth, their constant movement being caused by this giant sphere slowly turning overhead. Just like a terrestrial globe, the celestial sphere is mapped by a North and South Pole, an Equator, and lines of longitude and latitude. Constellations such as the Great Bear, Pegasus, Orion and the twelve signs of the zodiac are represented here. Since the ecliptic and equator are marked, the globe could be used to calculate the times of rising and setting of the stars, and their culmination, when a star reaches its highest point in the sky. This globe is supported by a walnut tripod stand carved with acanthus leaves and fitted with a compass. Intended as a library globe it was produced by Thomas and Charles Malby. The constellations and star magnitudes are as set by Piazzi, and completed under the supervision of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge. Malby’s understanding of astronomy reflected the advanced knowledge of his time.

Inscriptions / Translations:  MALBY'S CELESTIAL GLOBE
Exhibiting the whole of the stars
Contained in the catalogues of
PIAZZL BRADLEY, HEVELIUS, MAYER, LA CAILLE S. JOHNSON
the Double Stars from Sir W. Herschell & Struve

EDWARD STANFORD
GEOGRAPHICAL PUBLISHER, &c.,
26 & 27 COCKSPUR STREET, CHARING CROSS,
LONDON.

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