‘Only known copy’ of Blaeu’s first pocket globe makes treble-estimate at Christie’s

Attributed to Willem Blaeu and billed as the only known copy of the first pocket globe, this rarity of c.1618 made £230,000 at Christie’s.

Willem Janszoon Blaeu is one of the more famous names in the history of map and globe making and at Christie’s (25/20/13.5/% buyer’s premium), the tiny pocket globe attributed to him shown here was sold for a treble-estimate £230,000.

Extracted from Antiques Trade Gazette | Ian McKay

It was part of a 30-lot sale of treasures from the private collections of one of the most famous European dealers of recent times, the late Nico Israel of Amsterdam. Contained in a contemporary leather case with silver hinge and studs, it is just a little over 2in (5.5cm) in diameter and was boldly catalogued as the only known copy of the first pocket globe.

Blaeu, who had studied under Tycho Brahe, the great Danish astronomer, began producing maps and atlases at the turn of the 16th and 17th centuries, along with terrestrial and celestial globes, but it was not until 1618, or thereabouts, that this first pocket globe was produced.

And it was only in 1621 that his name started to appear on his globes, so as to avoid confusion between his own creations and those of his nearest rival, Jan Jansson.

The sale took place on December 11.