Globes are instruments for representing the Earth or the celestial vault. They provide a detailed summary of the knowledge of the era, and could even be used as a tribute to the power of a sovereign. Often, in fact, celestial globes represented the positions in the sky of recently discovered comets or stars, and terrestrial globes showed trade routes that had been newly opened by expeditions, or details of conquests. The Venetian Vincenzo Maria Coronelli was one of the greatest geographers and cartographers of the second half of the 17th century. To produce one of his globes, he first fashioned a wooden sphere, then covered it with plaster, and pasted onto it strips of paper that were printed, then colored. Making use of pre-printed paper allowed him to produce many units in a relatively short amount of time. Thanks to the work of cartographers like Coronelli and Moroncelli, globes have become outright works of art, valued even more for their beauty than for the accuracy of their representations.

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  • Title: Terrestrial globe