While the 18th century saw the invention of the pocket globes, the practice of keeping them became especially popular in the 19th century. Pocket globes were typically only a few inches in diameter, and were a status symbol for upper class European gentlemen to carry around. These globes were not particularly practical; after all, how could globes of this small size be effectively used for navigation or education? It is thought that rich men carried these around to show off their worldliness along with their knowledge of cutting-edge geography or perhaps might have been popular for very wealthy children to play with. Without further ado, here are our three favorite pocket globes from this era!
3. Newton's New and Improved Terrestrial Globe
Only three images in diameter, this globe hails from London around 1830. This amazing pocket globe is encased in an outer shell, which in turn features a constellation map including pictures of mythical animals along with scientific instruments. 12 separate sections of the map, called gores, cover this world globe and were hand drawn by cartographers. Pick up one of these world globes for the cheap price of $5000-$8000 over at Bonhams. Who needs a smartphone when you've got an antique pocket globe like this dynamo?
2. Dudley Adams 'Lane' Globe
The Lane globe was probably produced around the turn of the 18th century. The map consists of paper that features copper-engraving, hand colored designs and varnish. The folding case also features a celestial map that houses the 2.5 inch terrestrial globe. While this pocket gem has seen some wear and tear over the years, its dashing blue design has held up over time. The cartographers designate monsoons areas in the Indian & China Sea. Tasmania is displayed as an island and South America contains the luxurious label: "Gold Mines."
1. Carl Bauer's Minature Globe
If you thought those globes were small, you haven't seen this 1.5 inch mini globe! The globe was made from paper mache and plaster, encased in a wooden box. What makes this vintage item even more appealing is the 28 hand-colored engraved pictures of people from all different cultures on earth. The images unfold in an accordion-like fashion that fits in the same box. Truly one of a kind!