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Monday, November 24, 2014

A.H. Andrews Co. an in depth perspective

     A.H. Andrews globe maker?  Yes of course but that was a small part of this companies output.  A.H. Andrews was a school furniture powerhouse, desks, all manner of school supplies, auditorium seating, desks, both for students, and teachers, even church supplies. At their 1885 peak Andrews has offices in New York, Boston, and Philadelphia employing over 500 people (1)    Obviously on this blog I'll be concentrating on the globes and related apparatus, but it's important to realize that a lot of globe makers were also busy manufacturing a wide variety of semi- related items.
     Andrews absorbed the globe business of the Holbrook school apparatus company in about 1865. You see Andrews worked for Holbrook initially (2)  They kept the Holbrook name for awhile, and gradually added theirs to the cartouche over time.  Andrews made globes as small as 3 inches, and as large as 30 inches, with many sizes in between. They produced an extensive array of globes for both schools, and the home.  Entering bankruptcy in the 1890's their globe business was purchased by C. F. Weber, later becoming Weber Costello. (2)
     So Andrews produced globes for about 35 years, ending production 115 years ago, so they should not be too hard to find right?......Well wrong, the ephemeral quality of globes is easily demonstrated with Andrews. These globes in large part were produced, used by students, and families, then discarded. Having become outdated, or simply being damaged by a careless hand.
Andrews 8 inch globe
about $10.00 new
     An excellent example Andrews globe is very high on my list of globe that I want to add to my personal collection. Really nice examples are very hard to find. I've come close a few times but just didn't/ couldn't close a deal. At left I want to show an excellent example courtesy of a fellow collector. This particular example in my opinion is Art, a sculpture really. The  proportions are just right,  the color, and the materials used all add a sophistication to this model.  I've been looking for one just like this for a long time. Patience........ It will pay off eventually.
     Below I have assembled 4 photos from an 1881 A.H. Andrews catalog. These images are really fascinating, they show the extensive lineup of globes available from just this one manufacturer. Many of these shown on these old catalog pages are scarce, rare would not even do them justice, I have never seen an Andrews bracket mounted globe. What a spectacular find if you were to run across an intact example of one of those ( not to mention space saving to the collector!) . I fear that they were not hot sellers in 1881 due to their lack of portability and relative high cost. Few sold and fewer survive!  When looking at the catalog remember that these are prices in 1881.
Realize that in 1881 the average wage for a Carpenter was about $15 a week, a laborer $10 a week.







     Andrews mainstay products were as mentioned, desks, chairs, chalk boards, and the like. With that said it is easy to see that the same people working with wood and metal designing those items also had a hand in the design of Andrew's globes, they produced some of the most ornate and otherwise well done globe mountings in their time. This example I want to show below is courtesy of Omniterrum and is a very early Andrews globe made only 3 years after the Holbrook transition. It can be more completely viewed here: 1868 Andrews desk globe   This A. H. Andrews really shows what this company was capable of as far as artistically displaying a globe.
    Keeping in mind that in 1868 a $13 globe was an expensive endeavour, the individual who purchased this globe was fairly well off.  Most likely a member of an educated class, or a successful business person.  Just imagine seeing the complete world on your desk back then? What did those folks think about when they spun this sphere for the first time.    This globe manufactured in Chicago pre-dates our first transcontinental railroad by one year. Cross country travel via stagecoach was a 21 day agonizing affair!(3)  The world was a lot bigger than it is today, studying this globe had to be a mesmerizing experience for it's owner! 

1868 Andrews 8 inch globe
original retail price about $13.00
     Andrews competed with Joslin, Schedler, and others to produce globes, at the end of their existence they contended with Chicago upstart Rand McNally who's own globes came on the scene in the late 1880's. Was Andrews the first Chicago globe maker? I suspect that they were, but I  don't know for sure. Lets try and find out together, if anyone knows just comment below.  I want to show two more globes that really demonstrate what made Andrews stand out.  Below is an 1890 12 inch desk globe with full meridian ring. There are two pictures a full look at the globe as well as a close up view. This globe is impressive because of it's incredible artistic details as seen in the close up picture. Notice the extreme attention to detail, the multiple colors on the map as well as the detailed ocean currents. All of this adds up to an incredible presentation. Just a beautiful map surface.  Also worth mentioning is the claw foot casting of the stand it is beautifully detailed to match the globe. Do you like this globe as much as I do? Well follow this link to Murray Hudson's web site to see a dozen more pictures: 1890 Andrews 12 inch globe

1890 Andrews 12 inch globe

Close up 1890 Andrews, notice the
incredible map coloration


18 inch desk globe C. F. Weber
     Last but certainly not least I want to show you a globe produced at the end of  A.H. Andrews' existence, an 18 inch desk globe.  Now if you've ever seen an 18 inch floor globe you know that an 18 inch orb is big. Probably bigger than you would consider for a floor globe in your home. Don't worry this globe is not going on the floor it's going on your desk!  18 inch desk globes are rare, impractical except in very unique circumstances. They were made as the very largest "desk globes" available from multiple manufactures. Now where would one find such a globe?  In a large conference room, or on the desk of a lecture hall in a university setting, or perhaps in a large library reading room, or someday at my house ha ha...  Just as when Andrews absorbed Holbrook they kept the name for awhile, so did C. F. Weber when they bought out the globe making portion of A. H. Andrews Co.  The cartouche shows this transition, as it reads Andrews globe by C.F. Weber successor to A. H. Andrews.  
     This globe is exceptional for it's size as well as it's beautiful turned wood base, it's marriage of wood, paper, and brass is wonderful. Shown here with thanks to Murray Hudson the proud owner of this colossus, please follow this link to learn more:  18 inch C.F. Weber desk globe 1895

Andrews to Weber transitional
cartouche



     Let me close with a few thoughts. Andrews as a company transitioned globe manufacture in this country from an east coast centered industry to one that from then on would be centered in Chicago.  Industrialization was happening. Westward expansion, and large immigrant populations were swelling our size, and the ranks of school age children.  A. H. Andrews went bankrupt in the 1890's and their various businesses were split apart and sold. Why did this happen?  I wish I knew, but C.F. Weber saw value in globes and other school supplies and carried this part of the business foreword. 
     At nearly the same time Joslin, with a 45 year history making globes ceases to exist, as well as Schedler. Both of these companies end globe production sometime in the 1890's.  Why?  lets find out together, chime in with some insight in the comments!  
     Finally someone reading this post is going to ask themselves Why did he write this? Why as a collector do I need to know any of this history? My answer is simple, how can you appreciate your collection without knowing it's history. Nerdy right...? Well you didn't get to the end of this article without being a bit nerdy yourself.....





 ***    A post like this does not get written without a lot of research, and a lot of help, I want to acknowledge, and say thank you to:  Omniterrum, Murray Hudson, An anonymous fellow collector, The American globe preservation society ( source 2) , as well as the encyclopedia of Chicago ( source 1)  And of course Wikipedia ( source3) ***

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Patience: A collectors best friend

     I want to talk about something that gets overlooked when building a collection, any collection, but especially one as narrowly focused as globes.  Patience, an essential ingredient to a collector, almost as important as knowledge but acquiring knowledge takes Patience as well so I might just argue that it is the most important tool in a collectors arsenal.
     In our culture we are at war with time, instant gratification is what we crave, everything yesterday would be our ideal.  Patience is a lost art but together with time it is a collectors best friend.
     So what do I mean? Well as a collector it should be your goal to amass the best examples of what you want to collect as possible, taking int account financial position of course. To do anything else would put you in the company of an accumulator, anybody with an eBay account can become an accumulator. We are not accumulators we use time and patients to elevate ourselves to the level of discriminating collector!   Sounds sophisticated. But a god collection is in some ways.
     So let me examine Patience as it relates to our hobby.  Patience is a wonderful equalizer, with time and knowledge a collector can amass just as grand a collection than a person with lots of money but not much time or knowledge.  OK if you had $2 million sitting around gathering dust you could, in short order have the best globe collection around, but what would you actually have?
     You would have little knowledge, or ability to appreciate what you have assembled.  Now contrast that with a methodical knowledgeable collector, for a fraction of that sum plus time you could amass a similar collection, and certainly a more appreciated collection. A collection who's sum is far greater than it's parts.
     I maintain an ever evolving list of globes I'm looking for, as I learn I add and sometimes subtract from this list, just as a good collector will add and sometimes subtract from a collection.  Patience plays a part in my collecting in two ways. Firstly it forces me to educate myself, with long periods of time between acquisitions, I take to the net, and to books to learn not just about globes, but about the overall antiques market that globes occupy.  Secondly, time allows me a chance to keep my not unlimited budget in balance.
     So how much time to build a collection?  I set out a few years back to add one great globe a year to my collection, some years I've added none, this year three globes came my way so far!  A slow pace to be sure, necessitated by my budget, as well as my fussiness as to what I will buy.  I offer this insight not  as a definitive guide because every set of circumstances will be different, there are multiple right ways to collect, all collectors are different.
8 years of acquisition, sometimes careful, sometimes not.

     As a collector there is nothing more satisfying than the hunt. However it takes a lot of discipline NOT to buy the first thing that comes your way, and as a collector starting out, I purchased a lot of marginal globes that are no longer part of my collection. I had no patience, and even less knowledge. Today I have learned from my mistakes ( sometimes that is ) to be honest I still make a lot of mistakes, I just don't blog about them.....  This is the kind of hobby that is 10% actual collecting, and 90% learning and if you love learning then it really is 100% fun.
     Earlier this year I obtained the globe on the far right in the picture above, an 1888 Gilman Joslin globe.  This globe is a great demonstration of patience paying off.  I started my quest for this globe about 4 years ago with an eBay auction, for auction was an exceptional example of Joslin's work, I bid strongly and came up short. That loss stung, and I began a search for this model.  This was a successful model for Joslin and comes up for sale with some regularity. I passed up probably 6 or more chances to buy this globe in that four year time period. It was dificult to do, but there was always somthing that was just not right, condition issues were common, sometimes price got in the way.  Patience was rewarded in the end and it taught me a lesson, waiting is OK.  I struggle with this from time to time even today.
     If you buy just one great piece each year, you are doing well. I think the one thing that most often frustrates a new collector is the infrequency with which great material becomes available. For every amazing globe there are a thousand more that are not so. I've never gone paning for gold but I imagime you sift a lot of sand for one nugget, and I'll guarantee you, find a few nuggets you'll be hooked!  
   



     

Sunday, November 16, 2014

1891 Rand McNally 3 inch globe........ waiting pays off

   In 1891 Rand McNally made a wonderful series of 3 inch desk globes, often referred to as paperweight globes, available in multiple base configurations, including a clear glass design that I am now showing here.
     I title this post "waiting pays off" because I've been stalking this model for a long time, I've watched as other globes came and went at auction, I've passed up examples of this globe with perfect orbs, and damaged bases, and I've walked past other examples with perfect bases but damaged orbs, all the while waiting for the perfect combination to come my way.  Well very recently the perfect example of Rand McNally's design was unearthed and I am the proud owner.
     Let's examine this tiny treasure, there's a lot going on in such a small package.  Firstly I want to draw attention to the overall design, with glass base this small globe was very ahead of it's time, a casual observer would not guess this design was almost 125 years old. Certainly a departure from the prevailing aesthetic of the time. Studying the photos below you will be able to see that although this globe is minuscule in size it has an incredibly detailed map, very accurate geography, even many major cities are listed on the continents. An actual globe in miniature, not a toy.  I would have to say as close to a "pocket globe" as any American manufacturer ever produced. Making a detailed map for a small sphere is in some ways harder than working with larger dimensions, and the detail Rand McNally applied to this little masterpiece speaks volumes about the quality of the work they were doing near the end of the 19th century.
3 inch globe shown with iPhone 5 for scale

A close up of the cartouche


This photo best shows the map detail


































Lets talk about condition, this globe is exceptional in it's preservation, there is one small nick ( and I mean small)  in the Pacific, smaller than a pencil eraser. That's pretty much it, This globe still retains a glossy shellac finish, that has not darkened, or faded much over time.  As this was not a teaching aid, and meant to be a desk decoration ( my grandmother would have called it a tchotchke) it was not "in use" or handled all that much, obviously aiding in it's preservation.
     I mentioned earlier in this post that I had waited a long time to acquire this particular globe. In another post I really want to explore the element of time as it applies to building a collection.
     This globe is the smallest globe in my collection, and right now small is a good thing.  My wife is very forgiving of my hobby, and has already turned over two rooms to my passion. I am now struggling to find space to artfully display things. Desk globes of the 12 inch variety are large and soon one is forced to decide weather or not to add yet another to a collection especially if space is becoming a premium.  I should mention that in many cases a small globe is more expensive, and much harder to find than a larger globe. The vast majority of globes sold the past 150 years were the 12 inch variety, a nice study size, so finding and purchasing small globes can be daunting from a financial standpoint.
    Below, I want to share 2 really great pictures, courtesy of Murray Hudson. Both are examples of this globe, one with a wooden base, and one with a metal base. Just imagine for a moment walking into Marshall Field's on State street in Chicago, in 1892  and walking through the gift department, and seeing a holiday display with multiple variations of this globe for sale, probably for a dollar or less! Boxed and gift wrapped, what a great gift for anybody with the inclination to travel, or explore! And being manufactured just up the road as Rand McNally was a great Chicago globe maker.....magic.
Acanthus leaf base
wooden base





















P.S.  I want to thank Mr Murray Hudson, a legend in the globe community! His store tucked away in Halls Tennessee is probably the largest gathering of globes for sale in North America. I have never had the pleasure of a visit, but it is on my bucket list!  I have however had the good fortune to exchange email correspondence with Mr Hudson, a passionate, and dedicated historian of the American globe if ever there was one. Please find a link to his website on my list.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The state of the market part 2 Bonhams History of Science auction 10-22-14

     I want to write about the state of the collector market with an in depth look at a recent auction. Specifically Bonhams History of Science; an auction consisting of a wide variety of scientific materials including about 40 lots of globes and related planetaria.  This auction took place Wednesday October 22nd 2014 in New York. This many globes in one auction is a rare event and the caliber of the offerings was quite good. The complete auction results are available at this link: Bonhams History of Science 
     I want to look in depth at about 7 lots that are really going to tell us a lot about the state of the collector market today please review the link for pictures, and further descriptions. Understand that I'm going to give my opinion I claim no official expertise!  So lets start our post mortem.....

1. Lot 12: A Teaching globe Holbrook & Co. 1850, this is a lovely 5 inch globe made from wood, and mounted on a turned stand, a lovely example of a very hard to find American globe, sold inclusive of buyers premium for $650.  This is a rare globe, very rare, and in the condition presented I think the price was on the low side. A great buy on a very early Holbrook piece

2. Lot 17: Spherical Educator globe, Holbrook, 1855.  This hinged globe was a very popular school globe manufactured by the Holbrook School Aparatus company this is the 3 inch version, also a 5 inch version was made, lots of these were made, few survive, as is evidenced by the $2000 result, a proper price, for this globe, to complete a collection of American globes one must obtain an example of this Holbrook design, it is too important not to. This 3 inch example was in nice shape considering it's history in the class room and early manufacture.

3.  Lot 22: J Schedlers terrestrial globe 1868, This lot gave us the chance to own a decent example of a Schedler globe, on a desirable cast iron acanthus leaf stand, condition wise the glove showed well, with age appropriate soil. Schedler globes are difficult to find in any condition and this globe brought $937 in my mind that seems correct.

4. Lot 23: Miniature Tabletop globe, Andrews, 1870.  This diminutive globe is a mere 3 inches in diameter, and mounted onto a beautiful turned wood stand, The smallest of Andrews globes this is a desirable globe!  I've never seen another, it suffered from a very darkened surface, still legible. Sold for $1,187 I'm tempted to say that it might have deserved to do better.  This globe checks all the boxes, as close to a pocket globe as any American globe could be. A great buy

5. Lot 27: Tabletop globe 6 inch Rand McNally, 1892. This is Rand McNally's 6 inch school globe, the same globe I own an example of  ( See my post Google earth 1892)  well this little gem sold for $1,000 and let me tell you as nice as this example is, this buyer overpaid, no way around it. Auction fever took hold. Why would this globe sell for 40% more than the much rarer Holbrook ( Lot 12 ) and almost as much as the Andrews ( Lot 23)  Only in a live sale room setting can a price disconnect like this take place.

6. Lot 31: Crams Tabletop globe, 1934: Readers, please click on the link above, and scroll down to see a picture of this globe.......I'll wait.............OK now this is a Crams globe from 1934, sold for $625 . Excuse me??? what planet are we on?  Is that dollars or Pesos, actually even if it were Pesos it would still be too much! A fool and their money are soon parted, and let me say whoever purchased this globe for this price, please call me I've got some other globes to sell you!! Now to be fair I did not read the description, did Marilyn Monroe own it? Was it on JFK's desk? Only then could I understand this.

7. Lot 42: Trippensee Planetarium, 1908: This is a nice example of a Trippensee Planetarium, an older example, no carring case, and condition looks good, and in working order, sold for a hefty $3,500 certainly at the very top of the market, that is almost a high retail number, again, a live auction will produce an anomaly like this.

8. Lot 43: Globe reference books, a lot of 20 or so globe related publications, sold for $375, reading a partial list of what was included, this was a very fair, bargain price, probably the buy of the auction, because some of these publications are very hard to find, GREAT BUY!!!

    Ok, Ok, lots of opinion shared, but hey it's my blog so I feel entitled to, ha ha  seriously, This auction was a very interesting look at American, and European globes, I did not discuss the British and German pocket globes that sold, but there were quite a few, and they are hard to find, and this auction had a dozen examples, WOW!
     I have to speculate that the bulk of these items came from one consignee, especially all of the early American globes, whoever assembled this collection did it with a connoisseurs eye, I'm sure it took a long time to do and It just goes to show that there have been people interested in this material and quietly collecting it for quite awhile, a delightful auction.
     Now for full disclosure, I was registered to bid by telephone on 3 lots,  numbers 12, 22, and 23  so why am I not the proud owner, of any of these globes?   Well life gets in the way sometimes, and I missed the auction, I regret missing Lot 12 the most, that Holbrook globe is as good as it gets when you talk about American globes, if the person who owns that globe reads this blog, enjoy your purchase you made a good one,  and please when you are ready to pass it to the next collector, contact me! I'll make you a fair offer!

Please feel free to comment, disagree, and discuss

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

My globe collection has gone electric

Notice the Art deco influenced base
   Boy I just love cheesy titles, I can't help it.  I'm sharing a couple of photos of a really nice globe that I just had the pleasure of adding to my collection, it's a 1949 Replogle illuminated globe 10 inch diameter, with a great machine age deco base.  A near identical globe was featured in my recent post about illuminated globes. Is it as flashy as a Crams atlas globe? Or even the Crams sea serpent globe? No it is not but that's ok it's simple elegant and understated. It came to me from Omniterrum via eBay, a last minute decision to bid, and lucky for me I won the auction ( I'm always shocked when this happens because I bid on and loose far more globes than I win)
1949 Replogle illuminated globe


 The condition of this globe is excellent, the map is intact, with very few surface blemishes, the base, and half meridian are intact and blemish free. The electrical component is in great shape.  A good piece of advice have the electric checked out. I happen to have an electrician within easy reach, and it being a 60 plus year old appliance it should be looked at by someone who knows their stuff.  All in all a great globe for my collection, probably the only illuminated globe I'll buy. None the less these are important globes to have if one hopes to tell the complete tale of the American globe. As I might have mentioned in an earlier post these great globes were produced into the fifties, at the end they switched to plastic from glass to save money, you know when companies make moves like that it's soon lights out.  ( did I just write that...?)
      I'll tell you when that bulb burns out it's going to be a royal pain changing it, the procedure is tedious, and fraught with risk of damage to the globe itself. I'd imagine many of these globes met their death during the changing of the bulb!
     I know collectors that focus near exclusively on illuminated globes, and to them I want to say, now I get it. They have a warmth and charm all their own and they certainly reflect a moment in our history.
     You know something, the night I bought this globe, I also bought another globe on eBay, a 12 inch Weber Costello Peerles black ocean, that one is coming from Hawaii so I have a bit of a wait...... amazing how finding globes goes. I could go months or even a year without a purchase then all of a sudden things hit the market and great items are available. You just never know.



Wednesday, October 1, 2014

My long term goal as a collector of globes

     Collecting seems to be such a embedded behavior, what child does not have a collection of something. I remember as a child I collected many things stickers, fossils, and of course baseball cards, probably with some Garbage Pail kids thrown in for good measure!  Many a psychoanalysis has been done on why we collect. Are collectors neurotic, or filling a void?  Who knows....who cares, I think there are as many reasons to collect as there are collectors out there. I wonder if I still have those Garbage Pail kids?......
     So why am I collecting globes? What is the goal of my collection?  I've been giving this a lot of thought lately.  Do I want the biggest collection of globes, No. Do I want the best collection of globes? No.  Do I feel a need to preserve history? Yes.  But I think there is a lot more going on here.  What wonderful objects, these globes....... art really, the choice of color, materials, and design all lend a sculptural nature to globes.  Science, let's not forget the scientific aspect of these functional tools. Historic, ah yes from workmanship, to outdated political boundaries, to missing places. A delight, a reminder that our knowledge of Earth's geography is very new compared to how long we've inhabited it.  Is geography even taught in school anymore?  Come to think of it was it even a subject when I was in school?  I really don't recall geography as a stand alone subject. Social studies covered part of it, Earth science another part, and that was it, here is a great article on the subject: Transforming Geography in our schools but I digress....
     That does not answer my self asked question.....where am I going with these objects?
In my mind I want to assemble a representative sample of globe making from 1830 until 1950 from Wilson to Weber I'd like to call it.  I see a collection in 20 years of about 30 to 40 globes, and I'll probably never cross the 50 mark. I can't think of needing more than that to meet my goal, of course goals can change......
     I think that just owning globes is 1/2 the collection, also necessary, are catalogs, ads, and manuals for various globes, and companies. These ephemeral items put context to a collection. There were so many school supply houses and department stores that over labeled globes made by the big Chicago globe makers. It would be great to own ads and catalogues that feature globes. Sometimes this material is harder to find than the globes themselves, and that's really saying something.
     I want to take a moment and write a list of globes that I'm looking for to fill out my collection, I hesitate to do this at all because I don't want anyone to think that they need the same globes, the beauty of collecting is it's individual aspect. No two collectors are alike.  So here is a partial list of missing links.

  • A Wilson globe
  • A Hollbrook globe
  • An Andrews globe
  • A Schedler globe
  • A Trippensee planetarium
  • A Weber Costello Airplane base globe
  • An example of a lighted globe
  • A great Chicago globe from the teens
  • A globe not yet known to me...???
This is just a partial list of what I'm looking for, I'm open minded, and realistic I know that a list like this takes time, money and patients, it is also fairly generic as I'm not necessarily looking for specific models, but I do have favorites.
     Being patient is difficult, at least I find it difficult, I find that I work very hard to not add somthing to my collection that is marginal, all the while wondering if I'd made the right decision, but there are really no wrong decisions.  A book collector once told me " buy what you love, and buy the best you can afford" sage advice then, valuable advice now.
   I'm currently reading a charming book titled " Do not sell at Any Price" a look at those few collectors of 78 records, it seems, 78 collectors are a small subset of a larger record collecting culture. I can't help but draw a connection between globe collectors, and the larger group of map collectors out there. Are we more intense? more focused? Well in my opinion yes and no, we are no more intense, but our focus is probably greater, our collections are sometimes harder to build, we are limited by supply, and space much more than many map collectors.
     So what to do once my collection is filled in and I have a nice representative sample of globes?  I think it's important to share it with others who might have an interest, such as occurs with this blog, but on another level I think at some point what good is a collection like this if only I can enjoy it?  Questions for the future I guess.

P.S. A great quote I once herd " what's the difference between collecting and hoarding? Curation."

Monday, September 22, 2014

The globe that put Rand McNally on the map

     Rand McNally one of the great Chicago globe makers did not start out making globes, they first made maps and they entered globe production in the 1880's. Here I want to show an example of their landmark 1891 globe. This is a 12 inch Terrestrial globe copyright 1891 right on the globe, North and South Dakota are divided, Austria- Hungarian Monarchy in Europe, Puerto Rico not labeled as U.S. this globe is important for Rand McNally's use of isothermal lines ( lines of equal temperature), that would become a standard after this globe. I own this globe with a metal schoolroom mount, but this globe was available in many configurations, wood base, metal, full mount, and others. It was a popular globe. Also manufactured in 6, 8, and 12 inch sizes, nice examples do become available from time to time. In fact if you are looking for a globe from the 1890's these are probably more affordable than many other globes of the time period from other makers.
Rand McNally 1891 isothermal globe
notice the copperized metal base


Close up of cartouche and isothermal lines
     This example sits in wonderful preservation, not perfect, it would be hard to find one in nicer shape, the base is noteworthy because of how much original finish remains, often this is worn and missing.  Notice the finial in the first two pictures, there is some space between the finial and globe, this is by design, every offset mount of this globe has that space.  I believe that this globe would have been a schoolroom model, probably also available in the regular market, but the metal base is rugged, more apt to handle the daily abuses of the school.  The orb is very nice, not perfect, there are imperfections of manufacture, some minor scuffs, and minor soiling, no dents, or cracks are present, and of course no missing map surface.  Overall a nice presentation, a simple globe that I often overlook when I am showing off my collection to a friend or family member, I am learning to appreciate this globe more as I learn more about it and the company that made it.
     This globe has been reproduced with the consent of Rand McNally by British globe makers Greaves and Thomas. I want to provide the link here: 1891 Isothermal globe reproduction   this site also goes into great detail regarding the world of 1891, and why this important globe was remade. I encourage you to click on the link and read, it's fascinating.
     This was not Rand McNally's first globe, but it was their first huge commercial success, this model and it's many variants set the path for decades to come of successful globe making. Rand McNally outlasted most other Chicago globe makers, although not producing globes the company remains in the map business today.
     In many ways this is a great companion piece to my 1892 Rand McNally 6 inch student globe, I could see in some luckier school houses a teacher with this model, and students sharing the smaller model at their desks as a lesson in geography was presented.
     I want to point out a contrast this globe has with another globe in my collection , I have a Joslin globe of similar vintage but these two globes could not be any more different, the Joslin in look and feel has much more in common with globes of 100 years earlier, the colors, mounting, and construction are similar. Now looking at this globe of 1891 it does not look dissimilar to globes produced in the 1930's. That's because this globe really shows a departure from how, and for whom globes were made. In a way globes from here on became more utilitarian, less ornate, function over form.  This also brought the price down dramatically opening up a much larger market for globes. This model would have sold for between $7.50 to $10.00  in the 1890's  much more affordable than Joslin's $25- $50.  Mass production, lower prices,  quicker shipping. Sound familiar? The same market forces that spell success or failure today were working 120 years ago.

As always lets discuss!!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Brimfield antiques part 2: shopping the show

     If you live in the northeastern US, 3 times a year the Brimfield antiques show takes over the antiques world, dealers, collectors, decorators all converge on a tiny Massachusetts hamlet for a week long multi venue event.  If you are familiar with Rennigers, or Brooklyn flea, or the Rose bowl flea market then you already have a feel for what Brimfield is.
     Antiques in New England are big business, bigger than in many other places of the country. Logically it's the oldest part of the country so there has historically been more "old stuff" here.  Shopping a show like this I have found takes a different set of skills than buying on the Internet as I alluded to in part one of my post. I discovered that I was not the best suited for shopping a fast paced show, by my third day I had learned to adjust my style to better suit a show environment.  Something that I worry about and you need to keep in the back of your mind, is that there are a certain number of "dealers" out there who misrepresent their wares, I think sometimes I'm so worried about these situations that I miss good things when they are presented. Knowledge is king when buying antiques in general, doubly important when you are in an environment like Brimfield, buyer beware is the rule. Mistakes were made, deals missed, and some great items found, all in all a great experience, not to be my last.
     I went to Brimfield with an open mind, but truthfully I had a mental list of things I wanted to find, on my list was a tellurian I figured at a show like this I'd see several that I could browse and buy, a thousand booths later ( not exaggerating) I found zero even offered for sale. Of course I also wanted globes, but they too proved elusive.  That's OK because what I've learned is that it's the unexpected items that make a trip to a show worthwhile.
7:30 am waiting for J+J to open at 8am

6:45 am  route 20 Brimfield MA
     Our days started early some fields open as early as 6am, we were up by 5am and parked by quarter to 7 each morning,  I was not one of those folks that stand in line looking for a score, I made a habit of strolling onto fields generally 20 minutes after they opened, no line, no fuss a good compromise I think.  We were there during the week, on weekends I'm told crowds are more, but since the show ends on Sunday deals might be better.  Again I opted to avoid the weekend and the crowds, although the crowds by mid day were nerve wracking enough, all part of the experience I guess. With such an early start I was exhausted by 1 or 2 in the afternoon. Back to my hotel for a dip and a nap, ready to go again the next morning.
     Brimfield is broken up into about 20 different " fields" all independent of one another but loosely organized into one show week, some fields are better than others some more flea market, others more antiquey. My favorite field was May's they seemed to vet their dealers a bit better, I saw a lot of quality items on this field, another favorite was Heart of the Mart, again nice quality, less flea, more antiques on this field, I left several " should have bought" items on both of these fields. Pictured above the J+J field opens only Friday and Saturday I went opening day and to be honest was underwhelmed by the quality. This is surprising because they are often touted as the best field by other sources, but a lot depends on what you are looking for, I think.
     So with all this time, and effort invested did I score anything great, well yes, quite a few things, I actually had little room left in my vehicle and little cash left in my wallet, success I'd say. One item that I purchased for my collection I will share.   Here is a display case from about the 1880's that would have sat on a counter of a department or general store, it is 24 inches tall, 14 inches square, and glass on 4 sides, complete with original lock and key. I plan on using it to display my smallest globes, ornate, over the top, and best of all dust free!  What good is having a collection if it can't be artfully displayed.
1880's store display case
     I would love to see some great globe display ideas from you.  How do you live with your collection? What works best for you. Please share via email and I'd love to post some display ideas from others anonymously, and with permission of course.  I really need some great Ideas, as I have noticed that I am fast running out of display space............

As always please feel free to comment, criticize or discuss! 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Brimfield part one: On the hunt for globes

     For those who don't know the Brimfield antiques show is a tri-annual event held in the tiny hamlet of Brimfield MA  about an hour and a half west of Boston, and 3 hours from NYC. My wife and I spent four days on the hunt for globes and related materials, as well as other items that piqued our interest.  Not knowing what to expect I kept an open mind as I traversed the show over the days.
     Now would be a great time to admit that I am not very good at buying at antique shows. Why you ask? Well it's because of the Internet. Here's what I mean, I am used to sitting at my desktop, watching slow moving auctions, or viewing items on Fleaglass, or Ruby Lane then hitting Google to research past sales, study other examples of items, bounce questions off sellers, other dealers, and friends, over a period of sometimes days I decide to finally bid, make an offer, or purchase. Contrast that to a show, the advantage, the merchandise is right in front of you, allowing endless inspection, but a purchase decision must be made almost immediately. That's a problem for me because I'm an endless debater, he who hesitates is lost, truer words were never spoken.
     I want to start off by showing a globe I should have bought.  Here it is offered for sale by a dealer who sold a wide variety of antiques including some globes was this, an 8 inch Rand McNally globe on a more unusual base, this base was available as a bronzed finish or this verdigris finish. The orb was in nice shape, few if any losses, no dents or missing map, and both poles were undamaged. Price $250, but more on that later.
1932 Rand McNally 8 inch globe
     So why is this globe not in my collection right now? Because I could not make a decision, I was not familiar with the base, I called an expert who's advice was " just buy it"  did I listen....no I did not. Do I regret it now.......yes I do.  Here's the rub, the dealer knew next to nothing about globes, in fact it was mis dated as 1920, I had to date it for him, and explain what he had, he then offered it for $200.  I countered at $175......why did I do this, I don't know, he wouldn't budge and hence the first mistake I made at Brimfield.....not to be my last.  This globe haunted me all week, I saw this dealer two more times. I should have just bought the thing, Am I in love with this globe? No that probably held me back, I own a similar orb and the green base just doesn't do it for me, but I could have and should have passed it on to another collector who did want it, that was my mistake.
     Let me shift gears now and show a picture of a "globe dealer" I encountered, this man had 20-30 globes, and here's a picture. Now to his credit he had a tag on every globe, with the date, manufacturer, and price. His pricing was interesting, he had everything priced as if it were rare, hard to find, and in excellent condition, one example, the large floor globe to the right in the picture was being offered for $595, 16 inches and from the 1920's the problem?  it was in horrible shape, scratched and dented, as well as unsecured in it's stand, notice it listing to the right in the photo.  Many of the other offerings were common 1960's to 1980's items.

I want to share another globe I spotted, at a distance it looked promising, 16 inch Joslin table globe, bronze stylized base, full mount! This one was pressing all the right buttons. As I drew closer I saw that it was not in a condition that I was comfortable buying, the price reflected it's condition, and the dealer suggested it was not firm at $1750.  Correctly dated to the 1870's It was not a bad globe, just not right for me. Here is a picture, I have the contact info for this dealer if anyone reading this is interested.

Gilman Joslin 16 inch globe 1870's


I want to share one more picture of a dealer who's entire offering consisted of two globes, an 1890's Andrews 18 inch on an Empire stand, and an 1880's Schedler on a stylized iron stand.  Both globes were rare, but both had major condition issues the Andrews was missing map, and had darkened over time, the Schedler had a near perfect stand,and a VERY desirable stand at that! The orb however was darkened markedly, as well as showing some losses.  You know now that I think of it I don't think I've ever seen a Schedler globe in really nice shape, I'm sure they're out there but I have yet to run across one, and believe me I've been looking. I should mention the Andrews was prices at $6,500 and the Schedler was priced at $1,650. 
Andrews floor globe, Schedler table globe






Brimfield was a learning experience, coming up Brimfield part two. I will review the event itself, and offer some advice from my experience. I want to say that it was not a total bust I was able to purchase some really great items that I had not been able to find in the past.  So let's discuss, please feel free to email me or comment below! 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

On the road: Brimfield Mass

     I'm sitting in my hotel room three days into a four day trip to Brimfield Massachusetts, to call this a huge antiques show would be an understatement.  This is one of the largest antiques shows in the country.  I came in search of globes  ( of course ). But also for an education in antiques, and in that Brimfield did not disappoint.  On the globe front I've seen quite a few and I'm going to post shortly a full blog entry on the state of the market for globes, and antiques in general.
     I've visited my fair share of  fairs, shows, and dealers but nothing like this, The Internet is still THE place to find and trade globes, but it is great to see how globes fit into the overall marketplace.
As collectors it's important to see this perspective.  Please stay tuned ..............

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Shedding some light on illuminated globes

     There is a whole group of globes out there that until now I have not really talked about, that is illuminated globes. Part globe, part decorative lamp they are an interesting merger of two useful items that when merged seemed to make each a bit less useful. Today they are seen as beautiful sculpture, reminiscent of a different time.  
     Illuminated globes enjoyed a fairly brief but intense surge in popularity in the 1930's and 40's  this is a subset of globes that is intensely cross collected.  What do I mean by that? Well basically these globes are of interest to obviously globe collectors, also Art Deco collectors, period designers, and novelty lighting collectors.  All of these groups have an interest in these globes for one reason or another.
     Construction of these globes was materially intense, the orb itself a glass sphere, then map surface was applied, a sturdy base was necessary, then the addition of a safe lamp.  These were a premium product offered for sale by most of the American globe producers of the time, as well as some European makers as well.
1949 Crams Atlas globe
1949 Crams Atlas globe 
     This group of globes is a very good example of design trends influencing globe manufactures, most of these globes are intensely Art Deco stylized, reflecting the time period they were made. So let me show you a globe:  This is a 1949 Crams  "Atlas base" globe it is a 12 inch orb with a stylized Atlas figure supporting the world. This is an impressive piece as a globe, lamp, or deco object d'art.  The influence for this globe came from the famous Atlas sculpture in Rockefeller Center that debuted in 1937.
1949 Serpent globe
1949 Serpent globe

Crams did not stop with the Atlas globe, probably more desirable is it's Sea Serpent globe of the same time period.  This globe ups the ante when it comes to over the top deco style! It is fantastic, nautical collectors want this, globe collectors want this, of course deco collectors want this globe.... could I heap any more desire onto this object?.....Oh what the heck I want this globe!  Great color, and great design it is smaller than our Atlas and so does not have the room defining dominance but I think that's a good thing.  So as you can imagine both of these globes come at a premium to the collector, especially in excellent condition.
1939 Replogle Deco scroll globe
    I want to show another globe a bit different than the first two, a different company, a gentleman's lighted globe if you will.  1939 Replogle illuminated globe, featuring a deco inspired scrolled metal base, this is a handsome globe, I think it looks equally nice with the lamp on or off,  the gores are hand applied to a 12 inch glass orb, muted oceans, and great pinks, greens and purples make this globe stand out. Again it is reflective of it's time period, taking full advantage of Art deco trends.
     As I mentioned at the top of the page illuminated globes were not exclusive to America, but the vast majority you will encounter will be from the great Chicago globe makers.  When globe makers moved from the east coast to the mid west they were part of a much larger trend in America. from about 1890 to 1950 America's manufacturing might became concentrated in the middle of the country what we refer to as the "Rust belt" today, but it's easy to forget that places like Cleveland, Buffalo, Detroit, and of course Chicago were in many ways the silicon valleys of their time. These globes represent their place in time as deco era masterpieces, but they also represent America's industrial and creative might. I mean where else than 1930's Chicago could it have been done!
     This post really only scratches the surface with regard to illuminated globes, certainly worthy of a place in even the most discriminating collection. I have to thank Dee Wiemer, owner of Upstarts, for photos and background regarding illuminated globes.

**Don't forget to join this page, and feel free to comment, and as always let's discuss!**



Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A look at the current market for Antique globes: James Wilson thirteen inch globe

     I want to start a recurring post where I look at the current state of the market for antique globes, I think a few times a year I will bring a link to a globe that sold at auction and will editorialize a bit:

so here it is:   Wilson's New American Thirteen inch globe, 1835

This wonderful example of a Wilson globe sold  June 24/25th  in New York at the venerable Christies Auction house, the price $3250 included the buyers premium.  Please click the link, and please scrutinize the picture, I wish that there was a second picture of the other hemispheres, but for the sake of our conversation let's assume that the globe was in equally nice shape all around.
     Now this is an American globe from the very beginning of globe production in this country, yes there are earlier Wilson globes, but there are also later ones as well. This piece seems to be in nice untouched/ unrestored condition, A full mount in Wilson's largest size 13 inches, makes this one of the most desirable globes for a collector of American globes.
     So what about the price?  Well I would love to have seen more pictures, but if the one picture available represents the globe properly then I think the price paid was a good one, very fair.  I've seen these globes for sale at the retail level for much higher.
     I should close this post with a bit of truth, I did not know about this auction when it occurred, I am lax in checking the listings of the big auction houses, but I think I'm going to start getting better in the future.  Skinner in Boston, and Christies NY do have globes come up for sale on a fairly regular basis. I like most people associate these places with million dollar art and antiques, and yes that is their stock in trade, but they do sell many items that are much more accessible.
     You may ask is $3250 accessible?  Yes if you're in the hunt for a Wilson globe, this is a very doable proposition.  I've been asking myself would I have tried to acquire this globe, hind sight tells me yes I would have liked o be in the mix.

On a closing note: to the purchaser of this globe, whomever you are congratulations, and well done!!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Taking a globe apart, a learning experience

     Today I took one of my globes apart, something I don't do too often, it's not a thing that should be done especially because I really don't know what I'm doing. It did not spin well and I wanted to clean the metal parts so that it could spin freely again, mission accomplished. Well as with most things getting it apart was easy, putting it back together.......well I just made it without any damage. Now wiser and more humble I want to share a discovery:
1930 Rand McNally 8 inch orb 

Now two things I have learned from this picture

1. This globe should undergo a professional cleaning, very typical of most globes the northern hemisphere has picked up considerable dirt over it's 85 or so years. More on that later.

2. More striking the time dial affixed to this globe protected a small circle from dirt, AND sun exposure, notice the small red area part of northern Canada this island is red,  this is a fairly common Rand McNally globe, and in every example I've ever seen there is not a speck of red left.

Globe makers have always had trouble with red pigments, this color has a hard time standing up to the sun and is very prone to fading. In fact it is completely gone from the surface of this orb. I was shocked to discover it! I had until today thought that this globe was produced with monochromatic land masses, a bit unusual, but now I see it was not.
     I can sit at this picture and imagine what this globe looked like when it was newly purchased, it actually looked a lot like  globes sold today, perhaps the ocean was a different shade but other than that they are extremely similar.

**I want to encourage you to become a member of this site if you enjoy reading the posts, also please feel free to comment, discuss, even criticize, we'll learn together**


Sunday, August 10, 2014

A conversation with Kimberly Soerensen, owner of Omniterrum

     I discovered the lure of antique globes quite by accident, purchasing my first globe on a whim.  After that first globe I was hooked so I set out to educate myself, and of course acquire more globes, the second, third and fourth globes I ever purchased came from Omniterrum, an antique and vintage globe dealer in Lynchburg VA.  Omniterrum is owned by Kimberly Soerensen a globe collector turned dealer who is at present one of only 3 or 4 globe specific dealers in the entire US.
     I have had the benefit of meeting Kim early in my collecting, and her knowledge and advice over the years has helped me avoid costly mistakes, and helped me build a better collection than I could have otherwise. Kim is patient and generous with her time something not all antique dealers can claim, especially with new collectors.  I want to pass some of those benefits on to the viewers of this blog in the form of a conversation with Kim:
 
1. You are one of the few dealers in the United States that specialize in globes,  how did you get started?, and why not maps? 

Kim:    Maps are easy to store , collect and ship, yet they cannot provide me with the satisfaction I receive from exploring the 3 dimensional display of earth, a globe.
My passion for globes is a fusion of two of my greatest interests: design and political history.  I find globes to be the perfect merger of form and function.
     A terrestrial globe is a superb representative of its time. It does not share what the world looked like politically whit its display of countries, empires and areas of exploration, but can also share the progress of technology of its time by the products used to create a terrestrial globe.
For example, one can follow the advancement of print technology on a globe as early globes had been hand drawn and colored, followed by one color print (black ) and then hand colored up to the mid 1800s to eventually multi color plate prints and now digital.
     The same can be said for the mounts (bases). From simple to ornate, Victorian to Deco and Mid Century Modern mounds, one can follow the cultural evolution of society, design and manufacturing.
 It had never been my intention to be a “globe dealer”, it was a hobby that had grown out of proportion!
I started collecting and trading globes about 10 years ago. In 2005 I obtained original NASA documents and proof read gores to the very first Lunar Globe based on actual photographic cartography from the Apollo 10 Mission. The cartography included the dark side of the moon, never to be seen from earth. Understanding the importance of this Space Race merchandise I decided to donate it to ensure it remains in public domain.
     While none of the institutions and museums in the US returned calls, the Austrian National Library took advantage of the opportunity and obtained the artifacts.
I have to add, I am bi-lingual, fluent in German in addition to English. This was of interest to the director of the National Library of Austria as he intended to expand their vast collection of Globes and related planetary items to include US models.
     I was invited to become a “scout”, search for and obtain objects for them.
Eventually, by word to mouth, my clientele increased to several other National Libraries, museums and other institutions, including among others Cambridge University and the German National Library. Meanwhile our private clientele has grow quite a bit and ranges world wide. At the beginning of Omniterrum roughly 60% of purchasing was done by institutions. Meanwhile, due to the economy their budget cuts and the growth of private clients, only 30% of artifacts are sold to institutions.

2.  What is your best advice to a new collector

Kim: Advice to new collectors:   If you purchase purely for looks, purchase what you like. 
     Obtaining a globe can be viewed like obtaining a piece of art.
If you intend to view it as an investment and ensure your artifact is authentic, educate yourself on the subject. We have dedicated several pages on our website to share our knowledge of how to date and authenticate a globe.
     Or purchase only from respected globe dealers as they have the knowledge and will make sure the item is authentic and worth the investment!
     Ebay, Etsy, Fist dibs, and on line auction houses are a hit or miss. Often the auction house  does not have the knowledge required or purposely misleads. Here is a typical example:
Globe looks old, maybe 1800s? Great condition. …and you receive a 1980s plastic globe, made to look old.
     There are several reputable auction houses throughout the world that provide annual scientific instrument auctions (including globes) and have experts evaluating the objects. I would suggest to follow them.
 Investment value:
Strive to obtain an object in the best possible condition. At the end, that is what increases value. Depending on age, some globes can be restored but this is a very costly option and has to be done correctly. Newer globes, by which I mean post WW1 globes are often not worth the expense of restoration or have been produced in a non-restorable, modern technology.

3. What mistakes do you see new collectors make when starting out?

  Kim:   The biggest mistake to globe collectors is buying every globe they see, regardless of condition. Especially on-line. Collecting globes is a slow process…
I must confess, it has been quite an expensive learning curve for me, especially in the early years. This is why we provide our globe guide on line.
    Make sure the base of the globe  and the globe itself belong to the same manufacture. If the base is not original, the globe has lost all value. It would be like placing a ford door on a 57 chevy…
     Lately Ebay has been infused with sellers placing globes on candle-holders and other similar items….     Your best “weapon” is knowledge.

4. If you had to pick one globe as your favorite what would it be?
     
   Kim:  Asking me which globe is my favorite globe is like asking a parent which is their favorite child. I regret selling one specific globe though. It was not too old, a 1961 Columbus special edition illuminated floor globe with all its documents. It had a 24 inch diameter glass orb and a mid century modern styled v form base. I purchased it from the Columbus family directly and had it shipped to the US. I also received documents, showing the globe with Mr. Ostergaard, the owner in 1961, which I kept. Since I sold the globe I had only one opportunity to obtain another one, which was destroyed in shipping. That globe I would like to find again, and if I do, it will not be for sale.

5. How has globe collecting changed ( if at all ) since you started


  Kim:  Collectors are no longer mostly individual hobby historians, interested in old maps. Now globe collectors include people who have a passion for art and design, collecting globes as individual art pieces. There has also been an increase in purchasing the artifacts as investments and heirlooms to pass down to future generations.


6. Would this hobby exist without the Internet?
    
   Kim:  No

7. Globe collecting in America seems a fairly young hobby, is it more established in Europe? 

   Kim:  Yes, especially in the UK. That being said, Globes had been produced in Europe much earlier than the US even existed. Being scientific instruments they had been purchased and remained in families for generations. Eventually someone began to collect…
Furthermore Geography and History are still being taught in Western European countries as individual subjects. 
With that limited exposure to the subjects related to globes, it will more likely not awake interest in globes or globe collecting
END.


As always lets discuss please feel free to comment, below! Or e-mail me 

P.S. If you ever find yourself in Lynchburg VA  I highly recommend the Craddock Terry Hotel.  The hotel was so nice I'm trying to find a reason to return! 


Sunday, August 3, 2014

Tellurions, Orrerys, Planetariums..........wait....what?.....I'm confused.........

Planetarium: A type of mechanical model designed to portray the orbital motions of the planets and their moons. Made for teaching and exhibition

Orrery: A model of the solar system, sometimes it is mechanical,  named for  Charles Boyle the 4th earl of Orrery

Tellurion: An instrument that shows how day and night and the seasons result from the tilt of the earth, its rotation on its axis, and its revolution around the sun

Alright, all 3 terms are similar, and related, but tellurion most accurately describes this device: 
1905 Trippensee Tellurion, with original case


    So what is a tellurion, and should I own one?  Let me explain, and yes, start shopping AFTER I buy mine!  
      Ok think back to ninth grade earth science, this was probably your first encounter with a tellurian, it most likely plugged into the wall and the "sun"  lit up, and you watched as your teacher rotated the gears and explained the moon phases, the tilt of the earth, winter and summer, ect.  
     Pictured above is an exceptional example of a Trippensee tellurion, complete with it's original case. Trippensee tellurions will be by far the most common devices found for sale, they manufactured these in varying forms for 100 years.  
     The company got it's start as the Laing Planetarium company, patented in 1897 by Alexandar Laing, and manufactured in Detroit Michigan early devices will bear this name, also the earliest of these machines will have string instead of metal chain mechanisms, In 1905 Ownership changed and the company was re-names the Trippensee Planetarium company independent until 1999!  
     It's not surprising that a fair number of these devices still exist even after 100+ years, if you think that schools bought them by the thousands. Most desirable ( and expensive) will be tellurions of wood, and brass, in their original cases.  Much less expensive to acquire, but still desirable are examples from the 1930's and 1940's such as this one:
1930's Trippensee tellurion
     This is an nice example of a tellurion manufactured in the 1930's  Bakelite, and other plastics replace most of the wood and brass the earth globe is still a detailed model, really a nice device, it will display well and is much more easily found.

     Sometime in the 50's these devices were electrified,  and another change in materials was made, with a clear eye towards cost, and ease of manufacture  this example is from the 1950's and marks the newest I would consider collectible, these are readily available and nice examples should not be hard to find, notice below the globe is very basic, what could be made of plastic is, but still perfectly functional, possibly more so with the electrification. 
1950's Trippensee tellurion


    I have to confess I  don't own any of these wonderful objects, certainly not for a lack of trying, I've passed up several great opportunities for purchase and have thus far been unsuccessful.  Tellurions appeal to me on several levels, they are scientific,  sculptural, as well as historic.  I especially love the look of the oldest Trippensee models, as I've said before there's just something about wood and metal in an objects construction that just seems to scream history!
     Finally, I have focused on Trippensee tellurions here, but these devices were made by many other manufactures here and in Europe, some of the earliest European models will have a candle for the sun, these are hard to find in any condition, Also Gilman Joslin produces a successful tellurion in the 1860's that sometimes comes up for sale,  it is pictured to the right from a catalog listing.  As always, lets discuss!  
** The color pictures in this post were used with the permission of Dee Wiemer, she owns a great Etsy store called Upstarts ( please see my links section) , the 1905 tellurian is currently available on that site, the other two are sold** 
**Historical research: coachbuilt.com, Wikipedia.com, and Omniterrum.com**