The “unknown parts” of Hudson Bay
By CUSHEE, Richard, 1731
A New Globe of the Earth by R. Cushee 1731.
- Author: CUSHEE, Richard
- Publication place: [London]
- Publisher: R. Cushee
- Publication date: 1731.
- 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, housed within original shagreen over paste-board clamshell case, with hooks and eyes, lined with two sets of 12 hand-coloured engraved celestial gores, clipped at 70 degrees declination, varnished.
- Dimensions: Diameter: 70mm (2.75 inches).
- Inventory reference: 15655
Richard Cushee (1696–1733) was a globemaker, surveyor and publisher who worked at the sign of the Globe and Sun between St Dunstan’s Church and Chancery Lane. He was apprenticed in 1710 to Charles Price and was made a freeman in 1721. In 1731, Cushee took on Nathaniel Hill as an apprentice. In the same year, in collaboration with the instrument maker Thomas Wright, Cushee published the popular book by Joseph Harris, ‘The description and use of the globes, and the orrery’. He also began to make pocket globes: these small terrestrial globes were also used by Wright for his own orreries. Cushee died young, and his wife Elizabeth took over his business, later marrying one of his relatives, Thomas Cushee. In the following years she went on to work both with her younger brother William Wyeth and her husband’s former apprentice Hill.
In North America, the area west of the Hudson Bay is marked “Unknown parts” and California is drawn as an island. The title cartouche has been strategically placed in the Pacific Ocean between America and Asia to avoid having to define the area more clearly, although Cushee has chosen to show the two continents as separate, perhaps after news of the exploration of the Bering Strait in 1728 reached Britain. Australia is named “New Holland”, and William Dampier’s explorations are indicated by “Sharks Bay” on the west coast. Australia is joined to New Guinea; however Dampier’s Strait is not marked, as on Senex’s globe. Tasmania is named “Dimens Land”, and New Zealand “N. Zeeland”. Both North and South Poles are marked, as is the meridian from London; the equator and the line of the Ecliptic, with signs of the zodiac; trade winds are marked by hatched lines in the ocean between the tropics. In Asia, the Great Wall is identified as “Ch. Wall”.
The celestial globe is pasted to the inside of the case, and the projection of the celestial gores is geocentric but the constellations are seen from the back. Cushee has reversed the human figures. The stars are represented by different symbols to denote magnitude, but there is no key. The Milky Way is labelled: “Via Lactea”. The 48 Ptolemaic constellations are marked, with five of the non-Ptolemaic. Six of Plancius’ southern constellations are named, but two not drawn; all those of Hevelius are shown, though Triangulum Minus is not labelled.
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