Editions:  Austria · Denmark · France · Germany · Italy · Norway · Spain · Sweden · Switzerland
Advertisement

Stralsund restores rare Baroque celestial globe

Share this article

Stralsund restores rare Baroque celestial globe
The restored globe. Photo: Museum of Cultural History in Stralsund
15:34 CET+01:00
After months of painstaking restoration work, a rare celestial globe dating back to 1715 is returning to the Museum of Cultural History in Stralsund, director Andreas Grüger told The Local on Wednesday.

It is one of a pair of twin heaven and earth papier-mâché globes created by Amsterdam engraver and art dealer Gerhard Valk almost 300 years ago under guidance from leading mathematicians and astronomers at the time.

“They are among the first and best work from this firm,” Grüger told The Local. “The only comparable pieces are two pair in the Netherlands, and a younger model in England.”

But both of Stralsund's globes, which were bequeathed to the Hanseatic city as part of a valuable collection belonging to Pomerania's Swedish Governor General Axel Graf von Löwen in 1761, have suffered severe damage over the years.

“After the death of the governor they were stored in a building in Stralsund that unfortunately had roof damage,” Grüger said. “The protective layer over the paper was damaged, and there were dirt particles and bleaching that reached the paper. They were no longer in a presentable state.”

For the last four and a half months, the celestial globe has been at the Lassan workshop of paper restoration expert Eckhard Kobelius. But on Thursday it returns to the museum where it will be displayed alone until its terrestrial mate is restored after next year. Together the globes are worth some €700,000.

Restored to its original glory, the celestial globe displays what Grüger called “very beautiful and fantastical” illustrations of heavenly bodies and constellations. Meanwhile the globe modelled on the earth's surface includes fascinating insights into the creator's antiquated geographical knowledge.

“On the earth globe the continent of Australia is missing, because at the time it was made some didn't know that it existed,” Grüger said. “It's a crazy illustration of the era – there's just nothing there!”

Last year the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Foundation donated €22,000 to finance the project after the museum had made repeated appeals for funding to support the project.

The globes will be exhibited in the 600-year-old "Museum House" location, which is one of the city's oldest merchant residences, boasting 25 generations of trade.

Get notified about breaking news on The Local

Share this article

Advertisement

From our sponsors

The Swedish university tackling the challenges of tomorrow

Ranked among the world's best young universities in the QS Top 50 Under 50, Linköping University (LiU) uses innovative learning techniques that prepare its students to tackle the challenges of tomorrow.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Jobs
Click here to start your job search
Advertisement
Advertisement

Popular articles

Advertisement
Advertisement