W & A K JOHNSTON 8 inch terrestrial globe, circa 1928

This fine table globe was produced by W & A K Johnston of Edinburgh. The company, active from the early 1800s until the 1960s, was renowned for the exceptional detail and quality of its maps, atlases and globes. 

This globe is quite difficult to date, but 1928 is indicated by the following: Petrograd has become Leningrad (1924), Christiania has become Oslo (1925), Central Australia is shown (1927-31), but Peking is not yet Peiping (from 1927), Yugoslavia is not shown (from 1929) and Constantinople is not yet Istanbul (1930).

The globe is constructed from a heavy pasteboard and plaster sphere, overlaid with 12 hand-applied paper gores. It is mounted on a cantilevered axis with thumbwheel, extending from a turned and ebonised wooden base. It is interesting to note that this design of mount is normally associated with the Parisian globe maker J Forest, so it is quite possible that they were sourced by Johnston from Forest.

The globe shows extensive cracking of the map surface and wear to the finish on the base (all clearly visible in the photographs). Nevertheless the colours remain rich under the age-darkened varnish and the map is clearly legible for the most part.

The map has been carefully cleaned and lightly restored, including stabilisation of the cracks. The holes at the polar bearings have been invisibly reinforced to ensure smooth rotation of the globe on its axis. The brass cantilever and fittings have been cleaned but without disturbing the patination. The base has been cleaned and polished. Despite its obvious signs of age, the globe has an exceptionally warm and appealing look and displays very well.

Diameter 8 inches (203mm); height 390mm; base diameter 160mm. Weight 1.1kg

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