Globes, Astronomical and navigational instruments, 3. Astronomy demonstrated: instruments and models, Popular Astronomy, Globes and globe gores, Charts and maps

The Collection

Your selection



Buy this image Add this to a collection
Share or embed this object   

Please contact the Picture Library if you would like to use this record and image under licence.



Object details:

Object ID GLB0140
Description John Russell's Selenographia consists of a large lunar sphere and a small terrestrial sphere. It is constructed to reproduce the librations, or motions, of the Moon with respect to the Earth. Only one side is illustrated, the other is blank, since only one side of the Moon is visible from Earth. Russell (1745-1806) spent 30 years perfecting his map of the Moon, producing detailed drawings and inventing the Selenographia. He probably did not make the globes himself and the Selenographia was offered for sale with various stands. Both the lunar and terrestrial spheres are made of papier mache covered with plaster and twelve full gores that are engraved, hand-coloured and varnished. The lunar sphere is mounted on a heavy brass hemisphere with parts cut away so that the resulting structure consists of one great circle oriented vertically, a concave circular disc centred on the pole and four circular arcs. The terrestrial globe is inclined at 66.5 degrees to the ecliptic and supported by a quarter circle rising from beneath the lunar globe. A number of different mechanisms represent the various relative motions of the Moon and the Earth. The whole is supported by a single-stem pedestal brass stand. On the lunar sphere, two great circles, the lunar equator, and the lunar prime meridian, are drawn, but these are not graduated. The craters, the seas and the mountains are delicately drawn but no nomenclature is provided. The main craters are marked by a cross. The terrestrial sphere bears a simple outline of the continents and labels five oceans Tasmania is still drawn as a peninsula.
Date made 1797

Artist/Maker Russell, John
Place made London
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London. Caird Fund.
Materials papier mache; plaster; paper; stipple plate engraved; varnish; brass; hand-coloured
Measurements Overall: 504 x 340 x 453 mm; Diameter of sphere: 300 mm; Diameter of Meridian Ring: 336 mm
Help us

Do you know more about this?

Share your knowledge