CARY, J&W. Pair of English 21-inch celestial and terrestrial globes. J&W Cary. London: J&W dated 1799 and 1815 (respectively).
Globes on Regency mahogany stands. Height overall 48 in.; Diameter overall 27 1/2 in.; Diameter of Globes 21 in.
The Cary family firm of globe-makers was founded in the late eighteenth century by John Cary (1755-1835). Alongside his partner and brother, William, a specialist in scientific instruments, J&W Cary produced some of the greatest late Georgian globes of its time. The brothers swiftly became one of the leading London globe-makers along with the family firms of Newton and Bardin.
J&W Cary’s first globes were published in 1791 and they were soon producing globes at four different diameters. The year 1816 saw the introduction of 18 inch glodes to thir range. These globes are a critical addition to any collector of American exploration as they reflect information from Lewis & Clark, Pike, Nuttal, Long and Elliot.
The Cary firm was continued by sons George and John Cary Sr. in the Regency period. In the mid 19th Century, the plates were passed to G.F. Cruchley, a map seller who continued to produce globes under the Cary name. Together with the firms of Newton and Bardin, globes made by the Cary family accounted for the majority of globes produced in England during the early 19th Century. They used excellent quality paper and printing techniques so their globes often survive in nice condition. When John snr. died in 1835 the company was run by Henry Gould, although it retained the trading name of William Cary until 1890, the Post Office directory recording Cary & Co. at 7 Pall Mall in 1892, and then Cary, Porter & Co. at the same address from 1894-1904.
“Cary's first known engraved plan is dated 1779. Henceforth, the quality of his engraving established new standards and a new style, with his effective, starkly beautiful, plain design being widely adopted. His firm’s cartographic output was prolific and diverse, ranging through maps, plans, atlases, astronomical and educational works, road-books (including works based on surveys by Aaron Arrowsmith the elder, who probably trained him), guides, and globes. Particularly noteworthy are the immensely popular New and Correct English Atlas (editions from 1787), which became the standard county atlas of the period, and the Traveller’s Companion (from 1790), the printing plates of both of which had to be replaced having become worn in the effort to meet the huge demand, and the particularly fine New English Atlas (from 1801) and New Universal Atlas (from 1808)” (David Smith for DNB).