An important pair of late 18th century 21 inch globes in exceptional condition by J & W Cary, the terrestrial and celestial globes each raised on matching mahogany stands on three circular reeded legs united by under stretchers supporting compasses and terminating in brass castors, the printed globes both signed and dated 'J & W Cary, 181 Strand, London' , the terrestrial globe updated to and dated 1st March 1812, the celestial globe dated 1st March 1799.
With her expanding territories England began to produce extremely skilled cartographers from the 18th century onwards. John Cary (c.1754-1835) was one of the leading mapmakers and map sellers whilst his brother William (c.1760-1825) was a skilled instrument maker. Cary made globes in three distinct sizes with these being impressive examples of the largest and most expensive model they produced.
The Carys ran a two-generation business in London beginning to make globes in 1791. The firm worked across the turn of the 18th to 19th centuries, and continuing to the 1850s. They had premises at various numbers in the Strand, and in St James's. No 181 Strand is the address given on these globes. This spans the period when the Carys were London's leading globe makers.
Pairs of globes of this size, the largest and most impressive form, were made for many great English collections. A pair of exactly this model by Cary may be seen in the collection of the Duke of Rutland in the magnificent Regent Gallery at Belvoir Castle, Rutland. A further large pair dated from 1799 and also by Cary were supplied to Trinity House, the 18th century headquarters of the historic maritime regulatory corporation, in the City of London where they still preside either side of the grand staircase.
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