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In 1684 Vincenzo Coronelli, a Franciscan friar who trained as an engraver, founded the Accademia Cosmografica degli Argonauti, a society whose members were chartered to subscribe to his globes and atlases – in effect providing the funds by which he was enabled to set up his map and globe business at the Convent Gloriosa dei Frari in Venice two years later.

This globe, made up of 12 hand-coloured engraved gores and two polar calottes, is relatively unsophisticated in its decoration and now rather faded, but all Coronelli globes are rare and its unsophisticated condition was actually a strong selling point.

Globes mounted horizontally are unusual in Europe – though there is an Italian monastic tradition of such presentation, and such globes are found in China and Japan, perhaps as a direct result. The decoration to the 18th century wooden stand of the present globe, however, would suggest that it was made in southern France, though quite possibly in or for a monastic house.

* The auction record for any pair of globes is £1.2m for a magnificent pair of gilt metal globes. Made in 1579 for Sultan Murad III, they are unsigned but are believed to have been made in Mercator’s Duisberg workshops.