French celestial globe, 1878

Celestial globe, 1693.
Dating from 1878, this large printed celestial globe with wooden stand was assembled in Paris, France by Charles Delagrave. The globe is centred on the constellation of Ophiuchus (the serpent bearer). The engraved star patterns are eighteenth century copies of ones used by the seventeenth century Venetian mapmaker, Vincenzo Coronelli. The celestial globe is a three-dimensional model of the heavens on which the stars are plotted on the outside of a sphere. Originating in the Ancient World it was probably inspired by the discovery that the Earth was round. The globe could be used to teach and demonstrate various astronomical principles. Until recently most celestial globes were ornate with decorative figures obscuring the stars.
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