I have had two emails regarding new collectors just starting out, This is an area I am really interested in, because not all that long ago I was a new collector, and what I don't know about this hobby could fill a book. So maybe you have an old globe that has been in your family a long time, or like me you stumble onto one at an antique mall.
Either way the collecting bug has bitten, and you find yourself on Ebay, or doing an Internet search about globe collecting ( hopefully you stumbled onto this blog right now) I want to share a few tips that I wish I'd known starting out
1. Buy what you like, this is really advice stolen from 100 other sources, but it is so true, you have to live with the object, you will be walking past it everyday. Sometimes cost is secondary if you enjoy the sculptural or artistic quality of an antique, if you like a certain style, or era, you can focus on that. If you like to travel buy a globe made in a country you like to visit. Many countries have produced globes over the years.
2. Don't listen to those ultra high end antiques dealers that may or may not suggest that anything worth collecting was made before 1800, or 1830, or some other date they made up, yes they pull these dates out of thin air to discourage some people, all the while they are busy buying up all the things that they tell you not to buy. I have a general dislike for people who claim to be " taste makers" or "trend setters" there are not enough good old globes to become trendy, and who is anybody to tell me what to like or not.
3. Buy the best you can afford, also tried and true advice from the book world, but it applies here too. Quality matters, buying any antique, in great original condition is ALWAYS the best choice no matter what.
4. Afford what you buy, by this I mean collecting anything, should always be done with discretionary dollars, don't buy any collectible with money that is needed for any other immediate reason, you will regret and or resent your purchase, or worse someone around you will resent your spending.
5. Don't invest in globes, or Maps, or anything else antique or collectible, this is contrarian advice, but for a beginner it is sound advice. If you buy what you like, and buy the best you can afford, you may well see a monetary gain down the road. I do not know enough to invest in globes, I also feel that an investment by definition will be sold to meet a monetary need later, a true collector does not want to part with their collection just because the market is up and it's time to sell. Hopefully my kids will be the ones deciding on a sale, after I'm gone, if I'm lucky one of them will want the collection themselves......I can only hope....
6. You will buy your first 1 or 2 globes on a whim, and probably for not a lot of money, when the time comes and you cross the $100 threshold to purchase a globe you need to then do a lot of research, learn age, rarity, globe maker, recent sales,comparable models, inspect for condition issues, ect.
7. Don't forget globe related items such as ads, and globe guides, as well as catalogs produced by school supply companies, these can be fascinating additions to a globe collection. This is actually an area that I am going to write more about soon.
8. Have fun! I love hunting for the next treasure, meeting people who share my interest, I even like cleaning my globes. When it becomes a chore or feels like work; then it's time to sell...so call me... ha ha
These are just a few things that I think are important when it comes to collecting, there are so many more but if you keep these tips in mind as you set out you'll have more fun and avoid some costly mistakes along the way.