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Celestial globe.

Published Rome, 1792, Giovanni Maria Cassini

Cassini (1745 - 1824)   was a Dominican Friar, engraver, geographer, cartographer and globemaker.

Unlike many publishers of the period Cassini did all his own engraving work. He was so well versed in drawing, writing and engraving his graphic and cartographic output is considered to be among the largest authored by a single man.

He was considered one of the best engravers in Rome, learning the skills of etching and engraving working in Rome as a pupil of Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720- 1778) who taught him how to utilize classical Roman and Greek architecture and figures in fashionable Baroque forms.

For the celestial globe Cassini used the best available astronomical data, drawing on the star catalogues of Johannes Hevelius (1611-87),  John Flamsteed and Nicolas de Lacille (1713 -62).

In 1792 there was no agreed corpus of names for constellations apart for the 48 defined by Ptolemy (100 – 170 a.d). The forms and names of the constellations reflect his subjective choices and interests. Some commemorate new maritime discoveries (such as birds of paradise, toucans, chameleons) or mythical creatures. A sacred heart (named the Heart of Charles II) appears in the northern hemisphere.

The newer constellations, including Lacailles observations of the southern hemisphere are shown in broken lines.

The subjective element in the depiction of the consolations was removed in 1922, with the designation of 88 official constellations by the first general assembly of the International Astronomical Union

Giovanni Cassini 1792

  • Each sphere is hand made from casting plaster. Each globe is made in the time honoured traditional method. 12 paper gore sections are carefully applied to the sphere with starch paste. Once dry the surface is burnished and finished with multiple very thin layers of varnish.

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