A monumental terrestrial globe, manufactured by EtablissementGéographique de Bruxellesbetween 1836 and 1842. With a wooden meridian ring and the globe mounted on a mahogany stand with scroll shaped legs on a concave triangular plinth. The upper rim of the stand shows the twelve months of the year and the corresponding signs of the Zodiac.
In 1830 Philippe Vandermaelen (1795-1869) founded the Etablissement Géographique de Bruxelles. Using the modern technique of lithographyVandermaelen manufactured maps and globes. The advantage of a globe, as opposed to a two-dimensional map, is the superior insight inthe actual position of a certain placeon the surface of the earth.From 1836 the company offered globes with a mahogany stand and a meridian ring of wood instead ofabrassring. Also by1836 the exceptional quality of Vandermaelens work was widely acknowledgedand he became the foremost cartographer of his time. Maps and globes published by the Etablissement Géographique de Bruxelles were always up to date. An example of the speed with which geographical discoveries were translated into maps was for instance the2000 kilometers of Antarctic coastlinethat were charted in 1840-1841. Already in 1843 maps with the saidcoastline were published bythe Etablissement Géographique de Bruxelles.This is also interesting because it gives us a fairly precise timescale to date the present globe. Because of the wooden meridian ring it must be dated after1836, and because the Antarctic coastline is not shown, it must be dated before 1843.Vandermaelen manufactured two different types of globes: most of them were the so called “Globes d’Instruction”. They were of moderate size and mounted in a fairly simple way. Of the second type: Globes de Cabinet, only three specimens were made. Drawn by H. Renaud and engraved by P.J. Doms, and with a circumferenceof 2.5 meters,these monumental globes were not only an instructive tool but with their elaborate mounts, they also formed an elegant and decorative element in either drawing room or library, thus enhancing the prestige of their owner and the beauty of the room.
All three Globes de Cabinet that weremanufctured by Etablissement Géographique de Bruxelles are known to us.One of themis to be found in the Royal Palace of Laekenin Brussels, home of the King and Queen of Belgium. The secondglobe isin thecollection of theBelgian National Library in Brussels and the third globe is the onepresented here.
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