Capt. Weddell reached this point in 1823”

By NEWTON, [John]., 1845 

Newton’s New & Improved Terrestrial Globe [and] Newton’s New & Improved Celestial Globe.

  • Author: NEWTON, [John].
  • Publication place: London
  • Publisher: [Newton & Son], 66 Chancery Lane
  • Publication date: c1845-1846
  • Physical description: A pair of terrestrial and celestial globes, each with 12 hand-coloured engraved paper gores, clipped at 70 degrees latitude, with two polar calottes, over a papier mâché and plaster sphere, varnished, mounted in a brass meridian half-circle supported by turned wooden pedestal stand.
  • Dimensions: Diameter: 150mm (6 inches) each.
  • Inventory reference: 15683


A fine example of Newton’s updated terrestrial and celestial globes supported on wooden stands.

During the first half of the nineteenth century the firm of Newton, together with Bardin and Cary, occupied a leading position in the manufacture of globes in London. The firm was established by John Newton in 1783 and operated originally from the Globe & Sun 128 Chancery Lane, moving to 97 Chancery Lane in 1803, before settling at 66 Chancery Lane in 1817.

John Newton (1759–1844) was trained by Thomas Bateman (fl1754-81), who had previously been apprenticed to Nathaniel Hill (fl1746-1768). Newton’s first globe was a revised edition of Hill’s 1754 pocket globe, which he published in 1783 in association with William Palmer. The partnership dissolved shortly after, and Newton continued to publish the pocket globe under his own name. John’s second son William Newton (1786–1861) joined the firm between 1814–1816, which traded under the name J. & W. Newton. In the same year the firm produced a new series of globes, including a new pocket globe.

By the 1830s the firm was also active as a patent agent and was joined by Miles Berry, a civil engineer and patent agent, after which the firm was known as Newton, Berry & Son. In 1842, William’s eldest son, William Edward Newton (1818–1879), joined the business, followed by his brother Alfred Vincent Newton (1821–1900). The firm became known as W. Newton & Son, or once again, on the death of William, as simply Newton & Son from 1861 until about 1883.

Perhaps the greatest triumph for the Newton family was the Great Exhibition of 1851, where, aside from the globes they exhibited from 150 to 635mm (1 to 25 inches) in diameter, they were awarded a prize medal for a manuscript terrestrial globe of six feet in diameter.

The cartography, given in English, is based on that of Newton’s previous terrestrial globes. The Antipodes of London” is shown, and the South Polar Region is empty except for a notation that reads Capt. Weddell reached this point in 1823”. To the west of America, there is a solar declination scale in the shape of an 8” to replace the ecliptic which is labelled. Eight oceans are named, and there is additional information provided in the South Pacific Ocean.

The cartography, given in English and Latin, is based on that of Newton’s previous celestial globes. There is a labelled magnitude table above a cartouche. For some variable stars the range in magnitudes is also given. A total of 42 stars and three star groups are named. The 48 Ptolemaic constellations and four of the non-Ptolemaic constellations are drawn. Eight of the southern constellations are drawn as well as those of Plancius, those of Hevelius, except Triangulum Minus, and those of Lacaille. However, not all the constellations are labelled.