Catalog Archive
Auction 196, Lot 63

Attractive French Armillary Sphere

"[Armillary Sphere]", Anon.

Subject: Armillary Sphere

Period: 1800 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

14.3 x 22.4 inches
36.3 x 56.9 cm
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This French armillary sphere is depicted on the Ptolemaic model with the earth at its center. The 2.5" untitled miniature terrestrial globe at center consists of 24 tiny gores, and is flanked by two small metal discs representing the sun and moon that orbit by rotating brass arms. Cartographically, the continents are presented in outline form with an early depiction of North America including a large Lake May visible in the Carolinas and a virtually blank northwest coast. Surrounding the earth is a larger rotating universal sphere containing the Ecliptic with the 12 constellations of the zodiac, celestial equator, and additional rings representing both the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, as well as the Arctic and Antarctic Circles. The sphere is constructed of wood and paper and sits on top of an ebonized stand. While there appears to be no imprint on the globe or sphere, it was likely published by Charles Francois Delamarche, who was a dominant player in this space at the turn of the 19th century.


Condition: B

The engraved paper rings surrounding the small globe are good with some soiling, minor abrasions, and light toning. The horizon ring has four small cracks and some small abrasions, and there are numerous small scuffs to the red wood edging. The globe itself is toned with some light abrasions. The small ring at bottom encircling the southern pole has lost a nail on one side, while a small ring at the very top of the sphere showing the hours of the day is missing. There is a small chip at the bottom of the baluster, and the wooden base has been professionally reattached and reinforced.

Estimate: $2,750 - $3,500

Sold for: $3,250

Closed on 2/7/2024