A fine pair of 12 inch floor standing globes by Cary of London, the celestial with finely detailed illustrations of the constellations and calculated for the year 1800, the terrestrial showing the latest discoveries towards the north pole and every raised on mahogany stands with a turned knop and downswept legs, united by stretchers and a compass.
The Cary family of globe makers was founded in the late 18th century by John Cary (1755-1835). The son of a Wiltshire maltster, Cary was in the engraving and map-selling business from about 1782 at Johnson’s Court, Fleet St, London and then at The Corner of Arundel St, Strand. He had previously been apprenticed to William Palmer and became freeman in 1778. The first globes by Cary were advertised in the ‘Traveller’s Companion’ in January 1791. The advertisment mentions that 3 1/2”, 9”, 12” and 21” diameter terrestrial and celestial globes were made from ‘entire new plates’, presumably a proud boast for a maker launching his globes on the market for the first time, in a climate where copper plates for gores were commonly bought or inherited and altered or otherwise amended. The address of the company at this time was 181 the Strand, and the company was commonly known as J & W Cary, to recognise the contribution of John’s brother William (1759-1825). Both brothers produced a number of instruments and maps aside from their globes and in all projects other than their globes, the brothers operated as separate business entities. William himself was primarily an optician and nautical instrument maker, having been apprenticed to Jesse Ramsden and had his own premises further down the Strand at Nos. 272 and 182.