Moxon's pocket globe


This is the ‘pocket globe’ of Joseph Moxon (1627–1691) which first appeared in the 1670s. In a catalogue of items advertised for sale, Moxon describes the arrangement as ‘Concave hemispheres of the starry orb, which serves for a case to a terrestrial globe of 3˝ diameter made portable for the pocket.’

The terrestrial pocket globe shows the tracks of Sir Francis Drake and Thomas Cavendish, and California is depicted as an island. The celestial gores are concave, but in fact the constellations appear reversed from the way we see them when we look up from the earth, as though they have been drawn to fit a common celestial globe.

These globes were attractive and very popular, and as much an amusing gadget as a geographical tool; and, priced at 15 shillings, they were much cheaper than a pair of globes.

The language of this globe is Latin, but Moxon also made an English version. His pocket globes started a tradition in England, and subsequent globe-makers continued to produce them until well into the 19th century.

Full title:
[A pocket terrestrial globe.] Londini sumptibus J. Moxon.
Joseph Moxon
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Maps C.4.a.4.(7.)

Full catalogue details

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