54. Celestial globe by J.W. Blaeuw
Amsterdam, c. 1635
Janszoon Willem Blaeuw (Alkmar 1571-Amsterdam 1638)
wood, plaster and papier-mâché covered with printed paper
diameter 68 cm
[Inv. MdS-96]

It is identical to the terrestrial globe in structure, size and period. The constellations are illustrated along with their mythological figurations; those visible only under the equator are also represented. As was customary in that period, the names of the main constellations are written in Greek and Arabic as well as Latin.
Equator and ecliptic are highlighted and the sphere is mounted in such a way that the ring of its stand represents the horizon at a latitude of 45 degrees.
The stand of this globe too is not original, probably remade at the beginning of the XIXth century: also missing therefore is the strip attached to the stand of the globe to represent the horizon.
Blaeuw was mathematician, astronomer, poet, geographer, engraver and printer. A disciple of Tycho Brahe, he performed numerous astronomical observations and was the first to discover the new star that appeared in the Cygnus constellation in 1600: "Nova in Cygno stella anno 1600 Augusto 18, primum a me, - he wrote - summa cum admiratione observata est". In the printing field he designed the so-called "Dutch press", by altering the coupling of the instrument: this was the first important modification of the printing press model in use for over a century. As globe-maker he wanted to build the biggest globes around (especially as regards those of Mercator and Molyneux).

F. Farinelli (1979), p. 186.
M. Fiorini (1989), p. 257.
L. Franco Devetag (1987), p. 86.
L. Luzio: (1957), p. 48.
M. Miniati (1991), pp. 96-100.
E.L. Stevenson (1921), pp. 21-44.