The first question to be raised when the UNIL globes emerged from oblivion was whether they were genuine. Were they the work of Gerardus Mercator himself, produced in his 16th-century workshop? Or were they 1875 facsimiles or even more recent copies? To answer this question, the project team conducted investigations from several angles and dug continually deeper from 2010 to 2016. This process included radiocarbon and growth-ring dating, appraisals and analyses of the globes’ components and structures by a large number of experts and scientists.

Let’s be clear from the outset: based on all these tests, the possibility that these globes are 1875 facsimiles or more recent copies can safely be ruled out. The terrestrial and celestial Mercator globes found in Lausanne are genuine.

Dating the stands

August 2012
Samples are taken from the stands of the terrestrial and celestial globes for C14 radiocarbon dating. The relevance of the samples is ensured using dendrochronology (growth-ring analysis) […]

 
0 comments

Sounding out an historian

13 June 2013
The project team meets with Dr Peter van der Krogt of the Universities of Amsterdam and Utrecht, an expert on Dutch globes of the 16th and 17th centuries […]

 
0 comments

1875 facsimiles ?

June 2013
The project team meets with Dr Peter van der Krogt of the Universities of Amsterdam and Utrecht, an expert on Dutch globes of the 16th and 17th centuries […]

 
0 comments

Dating the spheres

2013 and 2015
More samples are taken, this time from the two spheres’ surface paper and textile substrata, for AMS radiocarbon testing […]

 
0 comments