Robb Design Portfolio: Power Trip

  • Sheila Gibson Stoodley

In 1768, when the future King Gustav II of Sweden gave this pair of finely detailed globes to the French duchess d’Enville, it was a gesture freighted with meaning. Made by Anders Akerman, Sweden’s best mapmaker, each globe was engraved with what was known about the earth and the heavens. The world still held mysteries: The terrestrial globe identifies Australia as “New Hol­land” and New Zealand as part of Antarctica. The celestial globe more accurately charts the stars. In its stand, each measures 37 inches high and 24 inches in diameter; only five or six of this type and vintage are known, and three decades have passed since a pair was offered for sale. Mallett (212.249.8783, www.mallettantiques.com) is presenting this duo for $475,000. Though there are reasons to believe the gift had romantic intentions, Mallett’s Henry Neville notes that Gustav’s present was not meant for the duchess alone: He also hoped to impress her father, the duc de la Rochefoucauld. “As in all diplomatic presents, there is a personal element and a public element,” Neville says. “This was an influential present from a powerful Swede to a powerful Frenchman.”

Read Next Article >>
The vast collection of Morris Everett Jr. is only available as a single lot…
Auction Previews and Noteworthy Sales
Inspiring Discoveries & Insights
The December 17 auction will include 15 of the British leader’s finest paintings…
The fifth and final release of a pen collection celebrating religions, the Visconti Al-Aqsa (www....
Harry Heuts Photograph
Gifts for the collector...
“When I’m leaving my bedroom I see it straightaway,”
Gerry McGovern, the design director of Land Rover, first saw Pulse on his computer screen. The...
Courtesy of Swann Auction Galleries
The Vernacular Imagery, Photobooks & Fine Photographs auction is scheduled for December 11…
The auction will offer examples of all but six of René Lalique’s clock designs…
Photo by Riccardo Urnato
Coinciding with the 200th anniversary of the Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi’s birth is the release...