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Description

With an Early Depiction of Global Time Zones

Superb separately-issued engraved broadside with Hermes at the center and a series of concentric rings emanating outward, allowing the calculation things as diverse as astronomical phenomena, phases of the moon, tides at London Bridge, holidays, signs of the zodiac along with the parts of the body "affected by the Moon" at those times. The sheet includes the following insets clockwise from upper-right: Jupiter and Saturn according to Robert Hooke, and the Solar System according to Ptolemy; Mars and Venus according to Cassini, and the Solar System according to Tycho Brahe; the face of the sun according to Kircher, the face of the moon, and the Solar System according to Copernicus; and finally north and south polar projection of the earth, and a diagram showing an eclipse and phases of the moon.

The description at the bottom of the broadside reads as follows:

The outermost CIRCLE shewes, The Months of the Year. 2nd [shows] The Festivall's Terms, Eclipses, & length of Dayes. 3rd [shows] The Dayes of the Week. 4th [shows] The Day of the Month. 5th [shows] The Sunn's riseing & setting. 6th [shows] An Equation Table every 7th day. 7th [shows] The Sign & Degree of the Moon. 8th [shows] The Moon's riseing & setting. 9th [shows] The Tide at London Bridge. 10th [shows] The 4 Quarters of the Moon. 11th [shows ] The Degree's of terrestrial Longitude. 12th & 13th [show] The Longitude of the remarkable Places of the World. 14th & 15th [show] The Hour in all Parts of the World. 16th {shows] The Minutes. 17th [shows] The Signes of The Zodiak, with the Patres of the Body affected by the Moon.

The broadside was advertised for sale in the February 8th-11th, 1701, issue (894) of Post Boy.

There is now published, A Print of the Frontispiece of a curious Clock, which shews all the
Useful things contained in Almanacks, and do the Service of an Almanack for the Year 1701,
with several Curiosities for ever: As, the several Systems of the World, the Faces of the
Planets as they appear, being beheld through a Telescope, the terrestrial Longitude, &c. It is
Engraven on a large Copper-Plate; and is not only very Useful but Ornamental. By John
Ca[r]te, Watch-make[r], near the Fountain in the Temple, and to be had of Abel Roper in
Fleetstreet, and of most Booksellers. Price 6d.

An Early Attempt at Illustrating Global Time Zones

The broadside contains an early attempt at rendering global time zones, something which would not exist formally for almost 200 years. The attempt must have been purely an intellectual exercise; in Carte's era communication over long distances could travel no faster than a square-rigged ship sailing at roughly 10 knots, rendering hourly differences meaningless.  Ringing the central 2-by-12 hour clock is a list of placenames around the world corresponding to the local time when it was 12 o'clock in London. The differences are reasonably accurate, with California 8 to 9 hours behind; the Philippines 9 hours ahead; Rome an hour ahead; etc. Carte signed the plate ("Iohannes Carte Londini fecit.") the vast empty space in the clock that represented the Pacific Ocean "Mare del Zur, or Southern Ocean."

Carte's Frontispiece of a Cosmological Clock embodied a similar concept, with a 2-by-12 hour clock surrounding a north polar projection of the globe.

Rarity

Carte's broadsides are extremely rare, as they were separately published in small numbers. One example of the present broadside is held in the British Library (OCLC records only the microform version of this item).

We are aware of a Frontispiece of the Cosmographical Clock that sold at auction in 2019 for $15,000.

We extend our thanks to Ashley Baynton-Williams for his assistance in cataloging this item.

Condition Description
Minor even toning. Old folds. Very Good to Very Good+.
John Carte Biography

John Carte (fl. 1695-1706) was an obscure but accomplished London-based clockmaker who worked at the end of the 17th century to the beginning of the 18th. There are records of 8 pieces from his oeuvre, however very few survive to modern times. Contemporary commentary compared his clocks to those of Quare and Thompion (the latter of whom is buried at Westminster). The Czar of Russian and the Landgraf of Hesse (the patron of Jost Buergi) were both customers of Carte.

Today, Carte’s main claims to fame are his ‘cosmographical clocks’, which he published as broadsheets from 1695 until approximately 1706. They featured a 2-by-12 hour dial with a concentric annual dials with numerous astronomical indications.