A masonic memento
By PHILIP, George & Son. , 1880

Terrestrial globe [and celestial globe].

  • Author: PHILIP, George & Son.
  • Publication place: London
  • Publisher: George Philip & Son Ltd., 32 Fleet Street EC4
  • Publication date: c1922-1949
  • Physical description: Terrestrial and celestial globes, each with 12 hand-coloured engraved paper gores, over a wooden sphere, varnished, with metal pivot at both poles, housed in a domed wooden case.
  • Dimensions: Diameter: 47mm (2 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 15682


In the twentieth century George Philip & Son became associated with the Masons, publishing ‘Masonic Emblems and Jewels: Treasures at Freemasons’ Hall, London’ in 1917 from its Fleet Street premises in London. The firm is also recorded as supplying globes for the Masons, who decorated their lodges with the twin columns of King Solomon’s Temple, which supported a terrestrial and celestial globe. The full-size columns of six to eight-feet in height would support globes of 230 to 350mm (9 to 12 inch) diameters, however the lodges also often had miniature versions with columns that would support globes of this smaller 50mm (2 inch) size.

George Philip (1800–1882) was a cartographer and map publisher. Born in Huntly, Aberdeenshire, he trained under the Liverpool bookseller, William Grapel, from 1819. He went on to found George Philip & Sons in 1834 in Liverpool primarily as a bookseller and stationer, but rapidly expanding to become a publisher of maps, atlases and educational works. He only son, also George (1823–1902), was admitted to the business in 1848. The firm used a number of cartographers including John Bartholomew the elder, August Petermann and William Hughes to produce maps on copper plates, which were then printed and hand-coloured.

The business expanded rapidly and by the time he produced his county maps of 1862 he was using machine coloured maps produced on power-driven lithographic presses

The continents are outlined in green, red and orange with no national boundaries. Several cities are named, along with countries and rivers. The “Chinese Republic” and “Union of S.S. Reps.” in Asia dates the globe between 1922 and 1949.

The cartography features a graduated equatorial, ecliptic and colures. The constellations are depicted as mythical beasts and figures, and the stars are shown to five orders of magnitude.