A hypothetical Australian coastline

By ADAMS, G[eorge], 1766 

A Terrestrial Globe.

Globes
  • Author: ADAMS, G[eorge]
  • Publication place: London
  • Publisher: G. Adams, No. 60 Fleet Street
  • Publication date: c1766-1771
  • Physical description: Globe, 12 hand-coloured engraved paper gores, clipped at 70 degrees latitude, with two polar calottes, over a papier mâché and plaster sphere, varnished, housed in original shagreen over paste-board clamshell case with rims painted red, lined with two sets of 12 hand-coloured engraved celestial gores, with hooks and eyes, varnished.
  • Dimensions: Diameter: 70mm (2.75 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 15660

Notes

Biography
George Adams (c1704-1773) was a leading British instrument maker. Apprenticed in 1718, he set up his business in 1735 at the sign of Tycho Brahe’s Head in Fleet Street. He began making scientific instruments for the East India Company from 1735, was mathematical instrument maker to the Royal Ordnance from 1748 to 1753 and later instrument maker to the Prince of Wales and King George III. He also supplied the instruments for Captain Cook to observe the transit of Venus in 1769. After his death, his sons George and Dudley continued the business; with Dudley setting up on his own in 1788, working from a shop at 53 Charing Cross. In 1796, Dudley returned to the family firm and remained there until its bankruptcy in 1817. George Adams Snr acquired John Senex’s plates at some point in the 1760s. His son Dudley in turn acquired 76mm (3 inch) globe plates from James Ferguson. After the firm’s bankruptcy in 1817 the Ferguson-Dudley Adams globes would be acquired by Thomas Lane.

Geography
The same cartography is used as Senex’s 1750 globe, but with the addition of an eastern coastline of Australia, presumably hypothetical in nature, and a correction for New Zealand. The western coastline of North America is extended and shows the Bering Strait, but is not labelled.
The globe can be dated after 1766, as Fleet Street only became numbered that year and the cartouche includes Adams’ address at No. 60 Fleet Street. The globe also dates prior to 1771 given the eastern coast of Australia is only outlined in a hypothetical projection.

Astronomy
The gores are pasted to the inside of the case. The same celestial cartography is used as Senex’s 1750 globe, which featured the same cartography as Senex’s globe made in partnership with Price earlier in the eighteenth century. 

Bibliography

  1. Dekker GLB0052, GLB0014.
    • Dekker, Elly. (1999). Globes at Greenwich: A Catalogue of Globes and Armillery Spheres at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. Oxford: Oxford University Press and the National Maritime Museum.