A first state celestial globe, 18inch / 46cm, by Gerard and Leonard Valk


VALK, G. / L. - [A magnificent 18 inch. (46 cm.) diameter celestial globe] URANOGRAPHIA / SYDERUM ET STELLARUM / in Singulis Syderibus conspicuarum / exhibens Delineationem accuratissimam, / qua / ex Observationibus Astronomi plane Singularis / IOHANIS HEVELII... VALK, G. / L. (Amsterdam, 1711) A very rare 18 inch (46cm.) diameter celestial globe in very good condition. made up of two sets of twelve finely engraved and hand-colored gores and two polar calottes (70°) laid to the ecliptic poles of a papier-maché and plaster sphere, the axis through the celestial poles, the equatorial graduated in individual degrees and labelled every 10°, the ecliptic graduated in individual days of the houses of the Zodiac, with sigils and labelled every ten days.

RARE FIRST STATE OF THIS CELESTIAL TABLE GLOBE, 46 cm in diameter, produced by Gerard and Leonard Valk at the beginning of the 18th century. 

Price US$ 95.000

The globe comprises of two series of 18 half-gores and two polar caps engraved on copper and colored at the time, applied to a papier-mâché sphere coated with plaster, this one positioned at an ecliptic latitude of 70°. 

Complete with the Equator, the tropics, the polar circles, a half equinoctal colure, and a half circle of declination through 30 degrees. Ecliptic, circles and parallels of latitude every 5 degrees. The equator and ecliptic are graduated. 

The constellations are represented according to their names and finely depicted by mythical beasts and figures, with captioned in Latin.

A table entitled SUPER EMINET OMNES around a sun face shows the stars to six orders of magnitude, also with symbols for nebulae. 

The constellations are closely inspired by the celestial atlas “Firmamentum Sobiescianum sive Uranographia”, published in 1687 by the Polish astronomer Johannes Hevelius (1611-1687). In addition to the 48 ancient constellations listed by Ptolemy in his Almagest in the 2nd century, the globe includes the 12 constellations of the southern sky first represented by Petrus Plancius (1597) and the constellations introduced by Johannes Hevelius after 1687. 

The horizon to the Amsterdam meridian is added according to the work of Lotharius Zumbach de Coesfelt (1661-1727), professor of astronomy at the University of Leiden.

It is mounted in a fully engraved and graduated brass meridian circle, adorned on top with a (reconstructed) brass hour circle. 

The manufacturing number engraved on the meridian circle is n° I. (See v.d.Krogt Globi Neerlandici, manufacturing numbers, pp. 353-357)

The globe is based on an oak stand with four turned ebonized legs united by cross-stretchers supporting a circular base and meridian support. Total height 71 cm (28 inches), supporting a wooden horizon table covered with engraved paper depicting a zodiacal grid and a calendrier. By turning the globe, one can calculate the time difference between various locations on the globe)

The celestial figures are finely engraved and rendered in eye-catching detail, including gold embossing to the stars and some constellations. The constellations were enhanced with color and gold and the globe was then varnished.

The master engraver Carolus de La Haye engraved the globe based on Andreas Stech's design.

The oak horizon ring with a hand-colored paper ring showing degrees and days of the houses of the Zodiac, and with four scales for the Gregorian calendar for leap years and the three intervening years, with dominical letters and a scale for the old and new moon in Amsterdam, edged in red, and Lotharius Zumbach's innovative Almanac, with data for leap years and for each of the three intervening years. 

The globe has been skillfully restored. There are a few very small cracks on the zodiacal grid, but overall, it is in remarkably fine condition. The usual small dents have been repaired, and there is some minor manuscript fill-in.

Title below Cetus is the title cartouche : Uranographia syderum et stellarum in singulis syderibus conspicuarum exhibens delineationem accuratissimam, qua ex observationibus astronomi plane singularis Iohannis Hevelii usque ad finem anni MDCC emendata est. Nova praeterea methodo additus est ex mente Lotharii Zumbach M.D. et Mathem. Claris. horizon ad meridianum Amstelaedamensem accurate per annes plures quam du-centes lunae syzygias indicans, praeter annes com-munes et bissextiles.

(translated): Uranographia, showing a most accurate depiction of the constellations and the conspicuous stars in the individual constellations, which is adapted from the observations of the matchless astronomer Johannes Hevelius for the end of the year 1700. Moreover, by a new method invented by Lotharius Zumbach, Doctor of Medicine and a famous mathematician, the horizon at the meridian of Amsterdam is added, showing accurately for more than 200 years the syzygies of the moon, as well as the common years and the bissextiles. By the labor and enthusiasm of Gerard and Leonard Valk from Amsterdam, 1715. 

The cartography of the gores on Valk's celestial globe, as stated in the cartouche, is based closely on the celestial atlas Uranographia, published in 1687 by the Polish astronomer Johannes Hevelius (1611-1687) who was notable for being the last great astronomer to conduct his work without the use of a telescope. Hevelius was also notable for designing his celestial maps with globes in mind, and as such they were easily transferred onto spheres.

Giving the celestial globe its own name is a striking novelty by Valk, which was not imitated by others. By this, Valk introduced a new graphic style of the constellations by no longer using the 'old-fashioned' Saenredam style of Blaeu and Hondius globes.


Near the constellation, Argo appears a small oval dedicational cartouche, printed on a paste-on sheet of paper with dedication the to the Burgomaster of Amsterdam and President of the East India Company (VOC) , Johannes Trip J. U. D. (1664-1732).: 

« VIRO / AMPLISSIMA DIGNITATE / ac / MERITORUM SPLENDORE / CONSPICUO / IOHAN-NI TRIP, J.U.D. / Reipublicae Amstelaedamensis / CON-SULI GRAVISSIMO, / Societatis Indiae Orientalis / MO-DERATORI INTEGERRIMO, / Toparchae in berkenrode / IUSTISSIMO, / &c. / URANOGRAPHIAM / hic ea, qua par est, / reverentia / D.D.D. / GERHARDUS et LEONHARDUS / VALK.

(translated) To Johannes Trip, J.U.D., a man noteworthy for is most splendid deserts and for the brilliance of his virtues, the most eminent consul of the State of Amsterdam, the incorruptible director of the East India Company, most upright Lord of Berkenrode, etc., the Uranographia is given and dedicated with equal reverence, by Gerhard and Leonard Valk. 

Gerard and Leonard Valk

The Valks enjoyed a virtual monopoly as publishers of globes in Amsterdam in the first half of the 18th century. Established at the end of the previous century by Gerard Valk, and assisted by his son Leonard, the firm became the only publisher of globes in the Netherlands in the 18th century. In Amsterdam Gerard began his publishing firm producing maps and atlases in co-operation with Petrus Schenk about 1680. About 30 years later, he began to publish globes with his son. After the death of Leonard, the firm continued under the stewardship of his widow, Maria Schenk, and towards the end of the 18th century the globe factory came in to the possession of Cornelis Covens.

Références : Van der Krogt, P. - Old globes in the Netherlands, p. 250, Val 74. - van der Krogt, P. Globi Neerland, pp. 299-336 and pp. 546-70. V.d.Krogt mentions three other copies (Sheepvaart Museum, Amsterdam 2x, Van de Vrij-Vrouwe van Renswoude Foundation, Utrecht).  - Dekker, pp. 514-515.