A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Frank Reed
Date: 2018 Aug 18, 18:36 -0700
David Pike, you wrote:
"Could it be a blank for hand made globe making?"
Yes, I think that's a reasonable hypothesis. Maybe not a globe of the Earth, but perhaps a globe for some other purpose, perhaps an aircraft instrument with a rolling globe. The N, E, S, W markings possibly suggest that it represented an altitude and azimuth coordinate system in some fashion. Brad Morris worried that the markings would be covered up. But wouldn't these markings have been used as guides during the process, and intended to be covered up? Some worker at a table would have had a basket of blank globes and bunch of printed overlays. Overlay 3J get glued onto spot 3J on the globe. Then overly 5J is glued down at spot 5J. And so on. Glue down all the overlays and then move on to the next globe... Fewer overlays would have been required right near the poles, so it's possible that the N, E, S, W labels were merely the names of those quadrant overlays for the polar region.
Alternate answer: Clearly, it's a photo of a faux-granite counter-top, but someone has placed a ball on it which makes it difficult to be more specific. Can you get another photo without that pesky ball in the way? ;)