From the Renaissance to well into the nineteenth century, finely crafted, scientifically valuable, and aesthetically sumptuous terrestrial and celestial globes held a place of honour in the libraries and cabinets of curiosities of the aristocracy, wealthy merchants, and centres of research and learning. Over the past thirty years the Stewart Museum at the Fort in Montreal has assembled one of North America's most important collections of these now-rare and fascinating objects. In Sphæræ Mundi Edward Dahl and Jean-François Gauvin tell the stories of these globes, explaining their iconography and introducing us to the most important European globe makers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Advances in modern science and technology have made present-day terrestrial and celestial globes scientifically obsolete and aesthetically banal. From the Renaissance to the mid-nineteenth century, however, they were indispensable tools for the study of geography and astronomy. Beginning with an overview of early globes, the authors examine how the modern era in globe making, which began in Flemish and Dutch shops in the early seventeenth century, show how globe making spread throughout Europe, and explain how what were both decorative and scientific objects became symbols of power, universal knowledge, intellectual status, and personal vanity.
Beginning with the collection's earliest globe, dated 1533, the authors introduce us to the life and works of some of the greatest Dutch, French, English, German, Italian, and Swedish globe makers. The 120 colour illustrations allow the reader to savour these rare and unusual works and include numerous detailed reproductions of both terrestrial and celestial map images.
Sphæræ Mundi charts developments and changes over three centuries of globe making, considering the globes as indicators of scientific advance and geographical exploration as well as artifacts and providing a unique opportunity to become familiar with these complex and beautiful objects.