I want to pose a question: Why collect globes? What makes this hobby appealing...special. I have had friends and family ask this very question of me more than once since I began seriously collecting in 2007. What does an antique globe offer a collector that is different from other genres of collecting?
For me globes combine art, science, and history, all in a 3 dimensional form that can not help but be explored. These artifacts are a snapshot in time. Each globe I examine is a history lesson it is really incredible how much our world has changed politically from the beginning of the 20th century until now. There is just something wonderful about connecting to the past in a hands on way, antique globes do this!
People will sometimes say " you must really like maps, do you collect maps also?" In a word, no. There are many more map collectors out there than globe collectors, and I suspect that many map collectors also have a globe or two. The reverse is true for me as I have a couple of maps that I enjoy, but they are not my focus. I should say that globe collectors owe their hobby to map collectors because an interest in antique cartography is usually born in exposure to maps.
Collecting maps is a more mature hobby, there are fairs, specialized auctions, as well as countless dealers who specialize in antique maps. The antique globe collector has just about a half dozen antique dealers in the United States that carry decent selections of globes; I plan on covering the top U.S. based dealers in a later post. There are no globe fairs, or specialized globe auctions, so defiantly these are barriers to entry.
Europe as with many areas of antiques collecting has a much more developed market in antique globes, Germany, The U.K. and France all have been mass producing globes longer than the United States.
Now would be a good time to explain a bit more about my personal taste, as well as my collecting focus. Globes have been produced for several hundred years, production started in the 1830's in the U.S. with James Wilson, I collect, and I focus this blog on globes produced no earlier than the 19th century. Why? Well cost, and availability, globes in any collectible condition produced before 1830-50 are so rare and so expensive that there really isn't a collector market out there. I want to concentrate on globes that have a reasonable chance of coming to market to buy.
The same is true of globes from 1960 foreword, they are so readily available that all one needs to do is spend an afternoon on Ebay to amass a large collection from this time period. You see part of building any collection is the hunt for treasure!
Later on I want to explore three tried and true collecting maxims and how they apply to antique globes, condition, rarity, and age
I want to leave you with a photo, to wet your appetite for more.......... 1925 Hammond full mount globe, I will use this globe to explore the 3 maxims listed above in my next post.