We are delighted to announce that this facsimile can now be found in numerous public collections worldwide: Purchased by:-
The Library of Congress, Washington D.C. U.S.A.
Casa Colon, Gran Caneria, Canary Isles.
Nagasaki Prefectural Art Museum, Japan.
Comissio dos Descobrimentos, Portugal.
Kobe Museum. Japan.
Brazilian Naval Commission, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Penny Black Museum, Mauritius.
Stewart Museum, Montreal, Canada.
This important globe was exhibited in Christies ‘World in your Hands’ exhibition with Rudolf Schmidt’s fantastic collection of historic globes and globe related items.
In 1991 we journeyed to the Germanisches Mueum located at Nuremberg with the intention of studying this most important globe for our second facsimile globe, however despite making an appointment our ambition was thwarted as on arrival we were informed that the museum already had an agreement with another publisher and consequently we did not have their support. We then made our facsimile version using Ravenstein’s 1908 gores as foundation and the finished globe with its wrought iron stand and engraved brass horizon ring was well received and now can be found in museums and libraries the world over.
But we always knew we had the potential to make a more definitive facsimile with the cooperation with the museum. I am delighted to report that exactly 30 years later permission was sought and finally granted. Using their digital data and archive photographs we have now made the first version using the Germanisches Mueum data. This first version has a spherical ball with the sunken pole.
Ravenstein’s book of translations. GT 1492 B: £45.00
THE MAKING OF OUR MARTIN BEHAIM FACSIMILE GLOBE
Martin Behaim’s 1492 Globe, or ‘Erdapfel’ (Earthapple), is our earliest surviving terrestrial globe. Made just prior to the discovery of the Americas, it gives a very clear and fascinating insight into what the 15th-century intelligentsia of Europe believed, not only from a cartographic standpoint but also because the surface of the Globe is covered in illustrations and inscriptions (taken from Ptolemy, Isidor of Seville, Marco Polo, etc.), describing fantastic lands, legends, superstitions, natural resources, beasts as well as astrological symbols – all this compiled onto one Globe. No other terrestrial globe made in its wake was to offer as much information, making Martin Behaim’s Globe unique. For this reason we started to research into the possibility of making a full-size facsimile.
In 1847 and 1908 two facsimile globes were made: the first for the Bibliotheque Nationale Paris, by E.F.Jomard, with the work being supervised by the famous engraver and artist A.Reindel. The second facsimile, of which several were made, as well as being published as gores, in a finely bound limited edition book, was undertaken by E.G.Ravenstein, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, London.
We decided to use Ravenstein’s 1908 Gores as a foundation. Ravenstein’s text and positioning of countries and landmarks appeared to be accurate; however the visual appearance of his globe was sadly very different from the original. The original Globe was finely painted by the renowned artist Georg Glockendon, whose beautiful illustrations and subtle hues and tones are absent on Ravenstein’s copy, as well as any appearance of age or damage. Ravenstein was clearly aware of this. His first intention was to ‘publish his facsimile in a simple manner’, his publisher’s insistence on ‘elaborate colour printing’ indicates that Ravenstein had no intention of attempting to make an ‘exact’ facsimile from the visual standpoint. To him the importance was to portray the positioning and text of the original Globe. This is confirmed in his book on Behaim where he humbly states that, due to the fact that ‘facsimile’ implies an exact copy or likeness, he could not claim to give his Globe that description. He writes: ‘I trust notwithstanding its many shortcomings, it will prove acceptable to students and antiquaries alike’. Nevertheless Ravenstein clearly did do a remarkable job, his biography and his Gores show this.
In 1847, and I would deduce after Jomard had completed his facsimile, ‘restorers’ were let loose for the second time on the Behaim Globe. Their ‘restoration’ severely damaged it. The restorers varnish bled into Glockendon’s artwork , sadly making many parts of the Globe illegible. This in itself shows the importance of a facsimile.
Due to this disaster Ravenstein clearly had quite a task before him. For his facsimile Ravenstein used Jomard’s Globe as well as the original. Jomard however had used as reference not only the original Globe but also Doppelmayr’s 1770 ‘Globular Projection’, Sebastian Müunster’s ‘Cosmographia’ and a ‘map on vellum’ (said to be found in the Behaim Family Archives, being ‘a fairly correct and neat copy of this globe upon two rolls of parchment’). Ravenstein found that these sources led to ‘a few sins of commission and omission’ on Jomard’s Globe in comparison to the original. Ravenstein’s Gores are probably one of the finest pieces of cartographic editing undertaken.
From our studies of the original Globe in Nuremberg we confirmed that Ravenstein’s positions and inscriptions were accurate (the inscriptions, where illegible, could have been retrieved from the various books originally used by Behaim). However the hundreds of place-names were obviously more of a problem; age and ‘restoration’ made many of the place-names extremely hard to read and consequently this is where a small percentage of errors can be found.
In the making of our set of Gores, the task of transferring our data and workings combined with Ravenstein’s seemed a daunting prospect. Apart from the merging varnish, where we found damage we felt this should be illustrated (this is why the ocean is several different tones). For this and the work of Glockendon we commissioned Sheila Hadley whose reputation for exact scientific illustration was well justified. Her ability to recreate the ‘spirit’ of Martin Behaim’s ‘Erdapfel’ is excellent. For the printing, including the booklet, 100% recycled paper was selected. The balls are made in the traditional method from two plaster hemispheres. The base is available in two versions: a ‘student’ version being a turned ebonised wooden base (made using replenished, recycled, or reconstituted European timber); and a copy of the 1510 brass and wrought iron stand upon which the ‘Erdapfel’ stands. For the iron work we commissioned the services of a professional blacksmith who, by using re-rolled antique wrought iron, has ‘fire welded’ and riveted a very fine copy of the original.
James Bissell-Thomas/Greaves & Thomas, England.
This globe is 51cms(20″) in diameter. It is available in three formats: on a wrought iron stand with fully a copy of the engraved brass horizon ring which was added in 1510.
An ebonised hand turned wooden stand is available as well as being simply fitted with brass rings to enable suspension.
On a lighter note, the globe has also appeared in numerous documentary’s and cinema films: BBC’s ‘tales from the Map Room’; Rene Margot; Wind in the Willows to name but a few; however one of the most memorable images is possibly the use of this globe in the recent remake of Walt Disney’s 101 Dalmatians – here you will find the globe in Cruella De Vil’s country pile, located in the attic covered in cobwebs and due to a large hole a small Dalmatian puppy is using it as a kennel! Our Behaim globe also appears in ‘The Mummy Returns’. Lastly you will see this globe alongside other G&T globes in the Harry Potter films.
But to date our most important sale was to Baron Alexander von Behaim-Schwartzbach, a distant relative of Martin Behaim, he has kindly described the facsimile as “excellent”. His family lost the globe before World War 2 when Adolf Hitler decided that should belong to the German people, enforcing a sale. When Alexander received his facsimile he remarked that he “really had the feeling that the globe had returned to the family again”.
(With the Wrought Iron version we have also emulated the sunken southern pole which the original in the Germanisch Museum now has)