A Silver Pocket Globe
By CUSHEE, Richard , 1731

Globe of the Earth by R. Cushee 1731.

  • Author: CUSHEE, Richard
  • Publication place: [London]
  • Publisher: Richard Cushee
  • Publication date: 1731.
  • Physical description: Seven centimetre engraved silver globe, housed in shagreen case, engraved celestial gores with 12 full globe gores, clicked at latitude 70 degrees, with two polar calottes, original colour, pasted to inside, with nineteenth century sliver hinges and clasp, a few minor dents.
  • Inventory reference: 11505


Unique silver pocket globe by the English globe maker Richard Cushee.

Richard Cushee (1696- c.1734) was a globe maker, surveyor, and publisher who worked at the sign of the Globe and Sun, between St Dunstan’s Church and Chancery Lane in Fleet. He was apprenticed in 1710 to Charles Price and was made a freeman in 1721. In 1731, Cushee took on Nathaniel Hill (active 1742-68) as an apprentice. In 1731, in collaboration with the instrument maker Thomas Wright (1692-1767), Cushee published the popular book on globes by Joseph Harris: ‘The description and use of the globes, and the orrery’. The small terrestrial globes, made by Cushee, were used by Wright for his own orreries. In the same year Cushee published the present pocket globe.

Terrestrial Cartography

Both North and South Poles are marked as are the Arctic and Antarctic Circles, and the Tropics. Also shown are the meridian from London; the equator and the line of the Ecliptic, with signs of the zodiac; trade winds are marked by hatched lines in the ocean between the tropics. The northwest of North America is labeled: ‘Unknown Parts’, and California is drawn as an island. Australia is represented according to the Dutch discoveries, with Australia named ‘New Holland’, Tasmania ‘Dimens Land’; and New Zealand ‘N. Zeeland’. In Asia, The Great Wall of China is marked ‘Ch. Wall’, as is the Russian Empire ‘Dominio[n] of Moscovy’; the northeast is labelled ‘Parts Unknown’.

Several seas are named including: ‘The Great South Sea’, ‘Pacifick Sea’, ‘Western Ocean’, ‘The Atlantick Ocean’, ‘Southern Ocean’, ‘The Eastern or Indian Sea’, ‘Eastern Ocean’, and ‘Ice Sea’ – to the North and South Poles.

Celestial Cartography

The celestial gores – pasted to the inside of the shagreen case – are geocentric in orientation; and, in a departure from most previous pocket globes are concave thus depicting the constellations as seen from Earth. Previous pocket globes, most notably John Senex’s pocket globe of 1730, simply used gores intended for celestial globes, thus rendering the night sky in reverse when pasted to the inside of the case. The difference is most noticeable in the orientation of ‘Ursa Major’, with the bear facing the other direction.

The gores depict 48 Ptolemaic constellations, the non-Ptolemaic constellations: Antinous, Coma Beren, Crosero, Columb Noach; all the southern constellations of Plancius apart from Xiphias and Musca; and all those of Hevelius.


Although printed examples of Cushee’s pocket globes are known – see National Maritime Museum (GLB0044), and British Library (Cartographic Items Maps C.4.a.4.(3.)) – we are unaware of any other example of a silver globe produced by Cushee; and we are unable to trace any institutional example of a silver English eighteenth century pocket globe.

The National Maritime Museum, holds two examples of silver pocket globes – the famous Whitwell Globe (GLB0025) – dated 1590 – the earliest known globe to have been made in England; and an anonymous French globe (GLB0249) dated circa 1800, housed within a velvet lined case.


From the collection of Daniel George van Beuningen (1877-1955), thence by descent. Van Beuningen was a leading industrialist in Rotterdam, and a collector of Dutch fifteenth and sixteenth century art. His collection is now housed at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, in Rotterdam.


  1. c.f. Dekker, Globes at Greenwich, GLBOO44 for printed example.

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