A treatise of the description and use of both globes. To which is annexed, a geographical description of our earth.
- Author: SENEX, John
- Publication place: London
- Publisher: John Senex at the Flobe in Salisbury Court, near Fleet Street, and W. Taylor at the Ship in Pater-noster Row
- Publication date: 1718.
- Physical description: Octavo (157 by 88mm), [I-X], 1-144, [1-6], title page with printer's device, numerical tables throughout, free end paper lacking, in original calf, spine in five sections separated by raised bands, loss to calf.
- Inventory reference: 15768
John Senex (1678–1740) was one of the most important English mapmakers and publishers of the first half of the eighteenth century. Such was his contribution to the development of the British map trade in his lifetime, that he was honoured and recognised in 1728 by his election to the Royal Society, sponsored by some of the greatest scientists of the period. He acted as semi-official engraver to the Royal Society, to its printer William Taylor, with whom Senex was to work closely, and to leading figures within the Society, including Sir Edmund Halley and William Whiston. For this reason, Senex was responsible for publishing a number of important scientific maps, notably Halley and Whiston’s eclipse maps for the 1715 and 1724 eclipses. Although he published his first pair of globes in 1706, before joining the Society, this connection later granted him access to the most up-to-date scientific data, which he then used for his extensive range of terrestrial and celestial globes.
It seems that, rather than producing a manual appended to a specific pair of his own globes, Senex published the present work as a general accompaniment to all globes. On the first page of the text, he states that “by the globes we here mean two artificial spherical bodies, whose convex part is supposed to give a true and exact representation of the Earth and Heavens, as visible by observation: and therefore are call’d the Terrestrial and Caelestial Globes”. The first section of the work is taken up with an explanation of each part of the globe, and each position it can be set in for different purposes. He then moves on to a series of 42 problems, which equip the reader with all the methods needed to use a pair of globes to tell the time of day, the latitude of a location and the movements of the constellations. Following his treatise on globes, Senex includes “A Geographical Description of the World”, including a description of Asia, Europe, America and Africa, along with some information about the size, peoples and cultures of certain countries within them.
The present work is extremely rare, with only 13 institutional examples worldwide, and no others on the market.