PHILIPS 'Challenge' 13.5 inch terrestrial globe, circa 1949

This is a large and impressive table globe from the British company Philips. It is a difficult globe to date, but indications are it is circa 1949: Israel is shown (1948), Indonesia is independent but Siam is not yet Thailand (both 1949); Peiping is shown with Peking in brackets (Peking pre-1945 and post-1949) and Germany is not yet divided (1949). One anomaly is that Iran is shown as Persia - a change that occurred following the coup d'état in 1953. However, the name Persia was in use until 1935, so this could be a hangover from pre-1935 printings. Further evidence in support of an earlier date is the analemma and the separately applied cartouche (both generally absent from post-war Philips globes), the heavy (8mm diameter) steel axis and the machine screw with lock nut base-fixing. Also, to the best of our knowledge, there seems to have been a production hiatus from around 1949 to 1956 - we have never seen a Philips globe dateable to this period.

The globe is constructed from two pasteboard hemispheres with hand-applied composite paper gores, joined at the equator. It features a very rare brass cantilever mount, trademark Everite stepped black bakelite base and a brass finial and time dial at the North Pole.

The map has faded uniformly to a wonderful sunny sepia. There is some light crazing and lifting and darkening of the seams, but it is otherwise in excellent, fully legible condition with no loss. The base and mount have been carefully cleaned and are likewise in excellent condition.

Diameter 13.5 inches (343mm); overall height 450mm

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