Thursday, February 3, 2011

17th century terrestrial globe for William and Mary House

I'm thinking ahead to the time I work on the study / library / workspace in the WAHM.  I really wanted the scientific gentleman of the house to have a nice terrestrial globe (among his other instruments) and decided to refinish a store-bought one to look more 17th century. 


Here's the 3 inch (7.5 cm) globe and stand I bought -- it's by Euro Minis and it's dirt cheap :)  Typical faux-mahogany stand, and a pretty garish globe, but the basics are usable.


Here's my inspiration -- two 17th century globes and a Mercator projection circa 1665.  One thing I love about miniatures (particularly working with a specific historical period) is how much I learn as I go along.  At the time of this Mercator map they knew where western Australia was, something I didn't know.  So recreating the inspirational globes led me to this process:

1.  Take the globe apart (this was surprisingly easy, besides it's fun sort of wrecking stuff :)).

2.  Paint the wood of the base a combination of burnt and raw umber to mimic walnut.  Paint the legs black to mimic ebony.  Give it two coats of satin varnish.

3.  Paint the globe's support brass/bronze.

4.  Repaint the globe itself, which took a while :)  I painted the whole globe a dirty parchment colour, then roughed in the continents using the Mercator projection as a guide with a darker colour.  Then I did a more detailed outline of the continents with a black pen, and finally cleaned up the sea/land meeting points and sketched in some "lettering".

5.  Reassemble the globe, with axis straight up and down (as in reference images of globes).  Since I had to break the original wooden stick that held the globe in place in its support, I used a length of brass wire as a replacement and I added a little flat brass spacer and bead just for detail.

And here's the finished piece!


  1. It certainly looks a lot better dulled down. Excellent makover.

  2. This is amazing. A globe was top on my list of dollhouse needs and I'm not too happy with the one I bought. Maybe it will get a makeover as well!

  3. looks like the one in my college library! fantastic work!

  4. Nina has struck again!
    I find your work of recovery very successful: when things are not there, you must create them :-)
    Mini hugs, Flora

  5. Perfectly perfect! Don't you love it when a plan comes together? ;-)

  6. A wonderful makeover! Very inspiring!

  7. Makeover Queen!! This is so much of an improvement on the original - brilliant!!

  8. Nina, I love your globe make-over! The change to a vertical axis is something I never would have thought of! It looks just right in the WAMH. I look forward to seeing this Gentleman's room!

  9. Your miniatures are so great I have become one of your followers. I also make miniatures. Please visit my blog.

  10. Your miniatures are so great I have become one of your followers. I also make miniatures. Please visit my blog.

  11. Tu inspiración ha sido acertada, ha quedado estupenda.
    Un saludo

  12. Amazing miniature! Great work.


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