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Best Historical Globes in the World

Call me old-fashioned, but I have a fondness for old globes, especially the ones that show land where we now know there’s only sea and sea where we now know there are whole continents. Some of the artwork on these historical globes is exquisite.

True antiques, are, of course, expensive, but contemporary facsimiles of old globes are surprisingly affordable, even if hand-made using traditional globemaking techniques. Here’s my hand-picked collection of some of the best historical globes in the world.

Historical globe created from the Nova Totius Terrarum Orbis Geographica AC Hydrographica Tabula map by Jodocus Hondius and Henri Le Roy from BEILUX

Henri globe – BEILUX

This beautiful historical globe is based on a 1636 map Nova Totius Terrarum Orbis Geographica AC Hydrographica Tabula by the cartographer Jodocus Hondius and the engraver Henri Le Roy.

The New World is shown in considerable detail, though California remains an island.

Price: $169

  about the Henri globe

Facsimile of Martin Behaim's 1492 'Erdapfel' globe from Greaves and Thomas globemakers

Martin Behaim’s 1492 Globe – Greaves & Thomas

A dark orb on a wrought iron stand, this facsimile of a 15th century globe is a fascinating historical piece.

Made in 1492, before Columbus reached America, Martin Behaim’s globe includes illustrations of fantastic beasts, but omits the soon-to-be-discovered New World.

Prices: £450 – £3,500 (around $600 – $4,700)

  about the Martin Behaim 1492 Globe

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Beautiful, tactile, custom wooden globes