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Bellerby Desk Globes

London's expert craftsman releases limited-edition globes with exquisite hand-painted detailing

by Jacob Resneck in Design on 05 October 2011

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A young operation, Peter Bellerby's globe-making concern resurrects an ancient art form. During our studio visit early last year in London's Stoke Newington neighborhood, Bellerby intimated he's one of those perfectionist types. If he's not satisfied with what's on offer, he sets out to do it himself. Such is the story behind Bellerby Globes. When the designer couldn't find a high-quality orb for his father's 80th birthday, he simply made his own, catching the eye of Cool Hunting and the luxury lifestyle media.

This month, Bellerby unveils the limited-edition Desk Globe, a smaller, nine-inch version of his handcrafted Plaster of Paris masterpieces. The desk model weighs 2.5 kilos (5.5 pounds), and uses a contemporary scheme with a matte finish on blue oceans and yellow ochre continents. Bellerby, who confided he's loathe to part with a piece he feels is less than perfect, says he's pleased with the result. "The prototype is sitting on my desk and I think everyone thinks I'm going a little crazy as I sit here spinning it constantly," he writes.

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There are three bases available: the standard model, with a stand hewn from American black walnut (£590 or $920); the 1951, made using a 12-foot piece of Japanese oak sourced from a closing London lumber yard; and the W Edition, featuring a base crafted from the inner trunks of walnut trees used for luxury automobile veneers in the 1960s. The globes are being released in a limited run of 250 and only 10 to 15 each of the 1951 and W Edition styles (each £990 or $1,536) will be made. All models ship in a flight case and delivery cost is included for the 1951 and W Edition globes.

To see what's got Bellerby so transfixed, there's an eight-second demo reel of the prototype spinning on its axis.

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