Celestial clockwork globe

Celestial clockwork globe. Astronomical details on the sphere include a magnitude table within a cartouche, below Crater. The Milky Way is labelled, and 14 stars and four star groups are named. The 48 Ptolemaic constellations and four non-Ptolemaic constellations are drawn. One southern constellation is drawn with those of Plancius.

Outhier was sufficiently pleased with his design of mechanical globe, constructed for him by Cattin, that he decided to present it to the Academie Royale des Sciences, Paris, in 1727. This first globe is described and illustrated in a French publication dated 1735. An English translation of this description was published in 1994 by Jonathan Snellenburg who offered a Cattin-Outhier globe for sale. This latter globe is dated 1726 and appears to be the one presented to the French Academy in 1727. It is a little more complicated than the two in the National Maritime Museum, London collection, as it has hour striking work included. One other example of this type of globe is known to be in the collection at the Musee des Arts et Metiers, Paris.

The clockwork mechanism allows the globe to revolve at sidereal time, about its polar axis, driven from within by a pendulum-controlled movement mounted on this axis. The main driving mechanism consists of a four-pillar 'going-barrel' movement. For full details about the cartography and construction of this clockwork globe please refer to the related publication.

Object Details

ID: GLB0137
Collection: Astronomical and navigational instruments; Charts and maps
Type: Clockwork globe
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Cattin, Jean Baptiste; Outhier, Abbe Reginald Pigeon, Jean Petrus Plancius, Petrus
Date made: 1731
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Measurements: Overall: 562 x 241 mm; Diameter of sphere: 161 mm
Parts: Celestial clockwork globe

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