Donated to the museum in 1992 by the Enriques family of Bologna in memory of Giovanni Enriques, the globe was restored at the Forlì laboratory of N. Scianna.
It is one of the famous three and a half foot globes that made world famous the friar Minorita Conventuale Vincenzo Coronelli, "geographer, chalcographer, biographer and encyclopedist, as well as founder of the Academy of the Argonauts, Cosmographer of the Veneto Republic, lecturer in geography at the University of Venice and author of a hundred or so books and hundreds of geographical maps and globes".
A precocious talent, Coronelli was only 16 when he wrote Il calendario perpetuo sacro-profano o Lunario del Frate, while his early globes, dedicated to the Duke of Parma Ranuccio Farnese, date from around 1680. The fame he won earned him a summons from cardinal César d’Estrées (1628-1714) to Paris where he built two enormous 3.8 m diameter globes for Louis XIV, able to hold up to thirty people inside. The globes cost a hundred thousand francs.
On his return to Venice he published, among other works, the Atlante veneto in 13 volumes and the Epitome cosmografica, in which he described in detail the techniques for making globes and the materials to use.
To build the globes, the spheres - terrestrial and celestial - were divided into gores engraved on copper plates. These gores, painted and colored, were then glued on a papier-mâché sphere covered by a layer of plaster; finally, the paper was given a coat of protective varnish made of natural resins.
This globe bears the date 1688, the time of the early models, but it is known that at least two other editions of the terrestrial globe (carrying the same date) were produced in 1692-93 and 1707, recognizable only by some variations in the cartouche illustrating the great allegory of the Republic of Venice: there are no indications in our case to help fix a specific date.
There is, placed in the Pacific Ocean, the usual dedication to the cardinal d’Estrées:
IL GENIO / della Virtù / raccomandò / all'Eternità
il Nome di
CESARE / Cardinale Eminentissimo / D'ESTREES
Duca e Pari di Francia / mentre fece elaborare
Per / LODOVICO / IL MAGNO
Dal P. Coronelli / Due Gran Globi,
L'idea de' quali ha poi epilogata / in questi
Per / L'ACCADEMIA COSMOGRAFICA / DEGLI ARGONAUTI
l'Anno / MDCLXXXVIII / in Venezia.
E. Armao (1944).
F. Bonasera (1951).
M.L. Bonelli (1960).
F. Bònoli (1993).
M. Fiorini (1899), pp. 329 ff.
M. Miniati (1991), pp. 100, 101.
E.L. Stevenson (1921).