One of the greatest treasures in The New York Public Library’s collection is a hollow copper globe, just 112 millimetres in diameter. The Hunt-Lenox Globe is recognized as one of the oldest terrestrial globes, and the oldest to depict the Americas.
This striking terrestrial globe dates to approximately 1510 and bears a strong resemblance to the Globus Jagellonicus housed at the Collegium Maius Museum in Krakow. What makes the Hunt-Lenox Globe unique is that it is one of only two known instances of a historical map using the phrase “HC SVNT DRACONES” (“here be dragons”).
Purchased “for a song” in Paris in 1855 by American architect Richard Morris Hunt, it was at first seen as a mere novelty. It wasn’t until bookdealer Henry Stevens noted its significance that Hunt donated the globe to the Lenox Library – James Lenox’s vast collection of paintings, books and other artifacts – for which he was the chief architect.
Today, the globe is a part of The New York Public Library’s Rare Book Division and will be featured in the Polonsky Exhibition of The New York Public Library’s Treasures. We are honoured to collaborate with NYPL to bring this unique historical artifact to the Paperblanks collection as a pencil case and softcover Flexi notebook design.