It's a woman's world
By LANE, [Thomas after Nicholas LANE] , 1808

[Pocket Globe] West. Bazaar, Soho Square London.

  • Author: LANE, [Thomas after Nicholas LANE]
  • Publication place: London,
  • Publisher: Soho,
  • Publication date: [1808].
  • Physical description: Globe, 12 hand-coloured engraved paper gores, clipped at 70 degrees latitude, with two polar calottes, over a papier mâché and plaster sphere, paste-over imprint to cartouche, varnished, housed in original black shagreen over paste-board clamshell case, with hooks and eyes, lined with two sets of 12 hand-coloured engraved celestial gores. Diameter: 70mm (2.75 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 22000


An extremely rare pocket globe that preserves a tangible link to a working woman in early-nineteenth century London.

The globe is the work of Nicholas Lane (fl1775-1783), whose business was particularly associated with pocket globes. First issued in 1779, the plates were updated in 1807 by Lane's son, Thomas, who took over the business after his father's death. Sold wholesale, often retailers would paste their own name and address over that of Lane in the cartouche – as the present example, with its imprint "West. Soho Bazaar, London", reflects.

The Soho Bazaar

The Soho Bazaar was established in 1816, in what is now 4-6 Soho Square, by John Trotter, an army contractor who had amassed considerable wealth supplying the British Army and Navy during the Napoleonic Wars. It had as its aim to support the widows and daughters of army officers and other individuals in need, providing a safe space for single women to trade. On sale were a variety of products: jewellery, millinery, baskets, gloves, lace, potted plants, books – and, apparently, pocket globes. The "West" on the imprint of the present example is, most likely, the woman who sold the globe, making this an exceptionally unusual piece, in that it is a globe that records the name of a working-class woman.

The Geography

The present globe can be dated to 1808. It features some of the revisions made by Thomas Lane that appear on the 1809 globe and not on the 1807, as recorded by Sumira, but not all. Dimens Land (Tasmania) has been separated from New Holland (Australia), with Port Jackson (Sydney) added to the west coast of the mainland. Sharks' Bay, "South C.", the "Stony Mountains" (the Rockies), and the death of Captain Cook are all, however, absent.

Given that the Soho Bazaar did not open until 1816, this makes the globe at least eight years outdated by the time of its sale. The most likely explanation for this is that Lane sold "out-of-date" stock at a reduced price, making it affordable to a woman like the anonymous "West" who held stalls at the Bazaar.


The celestial gores, which were acquired by from Richard Cushee at some point in the mid-eighteenth century, are geocentric in orientation. The difference is most noticeable in the orientation of Ursa Major, with the bear facing the other direction. The deep green colour is characteristic of Lane's globes.


  1. Dekker, pp.393-394
  2. Sumira, 35 and 45
  3. Worms and Baynton-Williams, p.451.

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