PHILIPS 12 inch terrestrial globe showing principal airmail routes, circa 1933

This is a fine pre-war table globe from the British company Philips. The globe is notable for its airmail routings, shown clearly in red. The first British public overseas airmail service was introduced in 1919, and by 1934 this had expanded to cover most of the Empire. At this time the Imperial Airways London to Brisbane service was the longest in the world, taking around 12 days.

The globe is difficult to date precisely, but it is definitely post-1930 as Istanbul is shown, and pre-1935 as Persia is not yet Iran. The best indications of a date of 1933 are that Manchuria is shown with Manchukuo in brackets (from 1932) but the portion of the Anglo-Egyptian condominium ceded to Italian Libya in 1934 is not shown (this was clearly indicated on the 1935 edition). There are however some interesting anomalies: Tannu Tuva is still shown (1921-26), Peking is shown with Peiping in brackets (renamed Peiping in 1928), Central Australia is still shown (1927-31) and Arabia is not yet Saudi Arabia (from 1932)..

The globe is constructed from a pasteboard sphere with 12 hand-applied paper gores and 2 polar calottes. It features a turned mahogany base with a polished chestnut finish, a lacquered brass half meridian with turned wooden polar bearings and brass finials.

There is discolouration caused by degradation of the varnish, mainly over the Pacific, and other light surface marking but the globe retains the subtle colouring of the political mapping and is fully legible with no loss.

The map has been carefully cleaned and the base and meridian have been cleaned and polished as appropriate. The globe turns smoothly on its axis, although there is a slight bias in rotation which can be overcome by tightening the finials if required.

Diameter 12 inches (305mm); overall height 460mm; base diameter 275mm

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