Historic Maps Of London Turned Into Beautiful Globes

By M@
Historic Maps Of London Turned Into Beautiful Globes
A black and white curving map of Soho

Meet the artist who's turning classic maps of London into beautiful globes.

Julia Forte is busy making worlds. The Soho-based artist crafts tiny planets from historical maps and panoramas.

"About a year ago," Julia tells us, "I was re-drawing Hollar's long view of London (for fun!) and wondered for some reason, if it would work on a globe. After much slicing, dicing and redrawing, I found that actually prospects work very well on globes."

It works for maps too. With a bit of experimentation, Julia found that street plans can also be curved onto a sphere. The one shown at the top of this article, for example, is the famous John Rocque map of 1746. That below shows the 16th century 'Agas Map'.

A globe decorated with an ancient map of London

These gorgeous orbs are created using traditional globe-making techniques. Individual sections, or gores, are pasted onto the sphere, then burnished and varnished.

These are dainty works of art — no bigger than 15cm diameter, and designed to be held and studied in the hand. You're invited to ponder the rondure, to "travel back into the past and consider your relationship to time and place".

Three globes of different sizes with burning London design

Julia is a person of many talents, and we've featured her work previously on these pages. She's perhaps best known as the co-creator of the London Gin Club, one of Soho's most characterful venues (which had to close for two years thanks to having Crossrail as a neighbour). Julia is also an artist and London-obsessive, and put together this map of London Peculiars, as well as a delightful map of London firsts.

The London globes take her map making into another dimension, and one you can admire at home. A variety of designs, including panoramas, maps, celestial globes and more abstract patterns are available to buy. You can browse the full catalog of available globes over on Julia's website.

Last Updated 13 November 2023