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Sunday, December 20, 2015

A couple of random thoughts.........................small globes, and a book recommendation

     I love winter up here in the northern latitudes, it gives me a chance to take stock of myself, get some long overdue projects finished, and most importantly ( to me at least) catch up on my reading.  Recently I re-read a great book about the antiques trade;  titled "Killer stuff and tons of money" by Maureen Stanton.  An unfortunate title I think, because it is absolutely not a get rich quick guide. What this book is about is a behind the curtain look at the antiques business, from picking, to flea markets, auctions, all the way to high end shows. We follow a dealer named " Curt Avery" from the lows to the highs of the antique trade. I really love this book because it puts the objects we collect in a new focus. It is fascinating to learn how antiques come to market, and the different levels of the trade they pass through from being found, to finally being sold into a collection. An eye opener and a book I as a collector can't recommend highly enough.  Published in 2011 it is a fairly current look at the trade.

An antique collectors must read
     I don't know about you but Christmas time brings with it an acute realization that I have too much stuff, the detritus of everyday life...... clutter, junk whatever you call it the Holidays bring it to the forefront. Once the decorations are up and the kids new toys are strewn about I get agitated in a way that is not easy to explain.  So what does this have to do with anything globe related.....?  Well I share my home with a family who may or may not see my hobby as a clutter inducing threat to their comfort...... In plain speak, you can only cram so many 12 inch globes into the average home's decor without starting to get push back from others around you, as I am finding out.  So what's a dedicated globe collector to do?
     Well it's time to think small.  Small globes that is.   There is a whole world ( pun intended)  out there of small globes that I need to start exploring in a new way.   The next most common sizes of globes manufactured were 8 inch orbs, and 6 inch orbs. I find myself  more often seeking out these smaller worlds to add to my collection and I've come to realize that small globes ( that is those less than 10 inches diameter ) are surprisingly hard to come by in collectible condition.   I don't have any concrete numbers but I'd imagine that  small globes survive at a rate of about 1 for every 5 twelve inch globes. Put another way small globes are probably only 20% as common as their larger counterparts.  Also adding to scarcity is the fact that; especially in America these smaller orbs were destined for classroom use more often than larger desk models, and obviously their survivability over time is diminished.  All of the great globe makers had a line of small globes usually just pint sized versions of their standard desk offerings.  Less expensive than 12 inch globes then, but now as antiques the opposite is usually true these globes are commanding stronger and stronger prices with excellent ( top 10% ) examples really doing well.
     Small globes as a novelty as well as a space saving way to collect are more appealing in many ways than the more common 12 inch standard.   Finding and adding small globes to my collection has become more challenging over the years, great ones are out there but they seem to becoming fewer and farther between, but I love a challenge..............
   


An arrangement of small globes 1891-1929 

Questions, comments, critique? Praise?  I'd love to hear drop me a line, or add comments below....!!

**Also, I as a collector am always in the market for excellent examples of American globes, Holbrook, Joslin, Andrews, Schedler, Weber Costello, and Rand McNally are just a few of the globe makers I'm actively seeking, if you have one of these to sell please contact me, I'd love to hear from you!**

Thursday, December 3, 2015

The Conservation Cover, A new way to protect your antique and vintage globes

     The A. H. Andrews globe catalog from 1882 references that all library globes 12 inches and larger sold are " furnished with a neat rubber cover" they explained that "it is well to cover globes when not in use to keep colors from fading and protect from dust"  No doubt Andrews shipped thousands of globes and covers over the years but I've never seen a globe cover survive. Rubber? what a peculiar choice of material.  But they had it absolutely correct back in 1882 what if there were a cover for your antique globe that could safely protect all variants of 12 inch globes from offset mounts, to full mounts?
     Well seen in this picture is just that it's called "The Conservation Cover"  and it's soon to be available to protect your antique or vintage globe.  It's a 2 layer all natural fabric system that protects, and is safe when in contact with even the most delicate paper surfaces.  
    Advantages of    The Conservation Cover  include:
-Dust blocking
-Light blocking
-specifically tailored for globes
-adjustable
-scratch proof lined
-100% natural cotton, breathable

Hidden under The cover is a very nice 1890 Joslin Full mount 12 inch table globe.....interested?
well check back on this blog soon for more information about availability of this new product specifically designed by a globe collector, for other globe collectors



as always happy hunting..................

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Geographic Educator company ...........so what happened

     The Geographic educator company was an interesting contributor to the marketplace for globes and globe related teaching instruments.  A flash in the pan, this company based on Long Island NY lasted about 3 years before folding presumably under the weight of the great depression. However in that short time they produced a couple of very interesting toys/ learning tools of a geographic nature that are highly sought after by globe collectors today.
     By far this company is known in the globe collecting world as the producer of the Geographic Educator Puzzle globe. A wonderful cross sectioned terrestrial globe that separates to reveal continents and further still, countries arranged as individual puzzles.


Although active for only a few years these globes are readily available for sale, usually showing up on eBay and through dealer web sites on a regular basis. Easy to find yes, but the challenge becomes finding an intact example. So often these globes are found with pieces of the puzzle missing, or other damage to the outside gores due to it's repeated assembly and dis assembly over the years.   This example shown here is better than average of what you will find when shopping for this particular globe.
The globe disassembled, into each continent
     The Geographic educator company was not necessarily a one trick pony, they did make at least one more learning apparatus. Called Block-o-Graphy, it was a rather ingenious puzzle, that took advantage of all sides of a building block  to make 6 different puzzles each showing one continent, clever almost a disassembled Rubik's cube.
Block-o-Graphy in original box, a rare find

So with two unique products to offer what happened to this company?  Were they victims of the depression? Was their core product too expensive to produce? Too expensive period? At $7.50 ( in 1927)  this was quite a luxury to be able to afford one of these for your child.    Was Block-o-Graphy added late in the company's short existence as a "last gasp" attempt to salvage things? Does this explain the relative scarcity of the puzzle as compared to the globe?  
Patent drawing for puzzle globe
The Geographic Educator Company also made a traditional globe also of a 6 inch diameter, utilizing the same map as on their puzzle globe and mounted to a pasteboard and plaster orb. Below is a picture of the exceedingly scarce solid globe version of their 6 inch sphere.  This solid version is on eBay right now : Geographic educator solid globe (May 29 2016)
      If you are considering adding a puzzle globe or a Block-O-Graphy set to your collection, keep in mind completeness. Don't even bother with a Block-O-Graphy with any missing pieces, it's not worth your time. As for the educator globe, they are difficult to find complete, is one missing piece a deal breaker......? Well that depends  defiantly it is important to find one with globe gores mostly or completely intact because after all it will be displayed most likely in it's assembled state.  Just my 2 cents anyhow!
Geographic Educator solid globe

     I have included the patent drawing for the globe above and an original ad below  I should mention the inventor is a man named Charles B. Roberts, presumably he is also the man behind the company I have tried to learn about this person, but little else seems to be available concerning him or his interesting contribution to geographic studies in this country.
An original ad for the Geographic educator globe

As always lets discuss, if you know something about this company or these globes I'd love to hear about it , drop me a line or leave a comment below,  happy hunting........

***All photos in this post are courtesy of Omniterrum, thank you***

Update April 25th 2016:     This intrepid collector was just recently able to acquire a very nice example of the Geographic Educator globe, here are a couple of pictures and a few thoughts.

I took a picture of the globe and my phone for size reference, one thing I never could quite grasp is that this globe is rather small.  Barely over 10 inches tall, and just 6 inches diameter the educator was small, and let me tell ya, I know why so many globes have missing pieces. They are very small puzzle pieces, and much like Lego's could easily be lost by a child.  I also made note of the fact that this globe was produced with two different styles of base. A simple 3 legged bent metal base, as seen here and in the patent drawing above. As well as a more elaborate tripod base as shown in the pictures above from another example.  With a production run of only about two years, I can't help wonder why they went to the trouble of changing the base?  It seems clear that they started out using the simplified base, then switched to the more elaborate base later on.  Nothing else about the globe is different. Another thing to note about the globe is how well made it is. It is substantially heavier than you would expect. The globe is made of some sort of very dense plastic, almost ceramic like. the puzzle pieces are also of this very dense material.  A lot of design and cost went into making this little gem, it's a shame that it didn't take off.

Monday, November 16, 2015

J Chein tin globe lucky find

     I want to share an exciting find I made recently.  Not too long ago I started exploring the world of tin globes and globe toys.  The research I did for that article inspired me to start the hunt for an exceptional tin globe to add to my collection. I settled on trying to find a great example of a J Chein globe. To me this globe blends perfectly the narrative of a functional toy, or an inexpensive way to give a child a globe.  As luck would have it I stumbled upon and was able to purchase this fine example:


     This is a near mint 1928 or 1929 J Chein tin globe. Charles Lindbergh's May 1927 flight is prominently laid out, and Central Australia is in existence on the map.  Iran is also still Persia.  The orb itself is about 5 inches diameter, and it sports an accurate graduated half meridian. It is also displayed here in the brown finish base instead of the more common yellow finish.  A remarkable little globe that probably would have retailed 85 years ago for no more than a couple of dollars. Certainly a great way to introduce geography to a child.  Is it a toy or a globe.......?  Well in my mind it's a bit of both. A cross collectible for sure.  A direct competitor at the lower end of Weber Costello, Rand McNally, and Replogle globes.  In fact this and other inexpensive tin globes put the traditional globe makers on a little bit of a defensive path with each rushing to market with even more affordable globes of their own.  This globe with it's simplified yet very accurate geography was good enough to be a teaching tool, and it's size was perfect for at school or at home use. J Chein produced this globe in varying formats until the late 1960's at least.
      I discovered this gem in an auction filled with many vintage tin toys, so it's previous owner was obviously a toy collector.  Now it's at home in a globe collection.   I am probably not going to seek many more tin globes out. It's not necessarily " my thing" but I also think that any representative collection of American globe making needs one or two good examples .  
     I purchased this globe at a Morphy auction in Las Vegas. I had never bid on an item with Morphy but they are part of a new breed of quasi traditional yet heavily Internet integrated auction houses that I want to discuss in a separate post; there is a whole different tact one must take to be successful bidding and buying at these type of auctions.  A much less straightforward process, and a process defiantly designed to spark " auction fever" a disease I've had in the past.......
     So......What could have knocked this little globe out of the park.............well what if this globe were still in it's original box.....? That would elevate this little gem from great to extraordinary!


Oh here's the box........
how rare is that!!    


     This globe came my way after not having purchased anything globe related in over 6 months. Not for a lack of trying.  There have been several great globes come and go that, as a collector  I have tried to add to my collection but for a variety of reasons just could not close a deal.  Finding this little gem was an exercise in networking, educating myself, and casting a wide net in my search.   Not the "find of a lifetime" but for what its is a great little score.
     I'm always fascinated by the search for globes and globe related items I probably spend far more time searching than a lot of collectors, but I LOVE it!!  
     
     With that said if you have an old globe in great condition especially Andrews, Holbrook, Weber Costello, or Joslin, I want to hear from you.  I am interested in globes from these manufactures and would love it if you contacted me if you have a globe for sale! 

Friday, November 6, 2015

"Peerless" globe brand or marketing moniker?

     Anyone who has ever been even a moderately engaged globe hunter has run across a "Peerless" globe.  Weber Costello used the term extensively through the late 1950's at least; but it has also shown up on globes from other sources as well. More uncommonly was the use of the term/ brand Peerless on globes from before WWI.   Is Peerless exclusive to the Andrews/ CF Weber/ Weber Costello manufactured globes?  Is it a G. W. Bacon brand of gore?  What is the link  if any?  Is it simply a marketing ploy, a way to distinguish?
     Below I want to explore a few examples of the Peerless name as it has appeared on globes over the years.

 On the left an Andrews globe with Bacon gores, On the right a Bacon gored C. W. Bardy globe labeled "Peerless"  The cartography is the same, having originated from the same mapmaker, but sold to two different globe retailers.  Andrews most probably made both globes, but why does one get a Peerless label and the other does not?  Both of these globes date from the last quarter of the 19th century, some of the oldest globes to show the Peerless designation.
     Next up I want to explore some slightly newer globes both labeled Peerless.
   This first cartouche to the left is an Atlas school supply over label of a Weber Costello globe, notice it has earned the Peerless designation. On the right is a straight away Weber Costello globe this time a six inch basic children's model that has also earned the label Peerless.  I've chosen both of these examples because both of these globes were produced in 1909  and both were made for the school market.  Is Peerless a designation that was made to designate a school globe from a globe produced for the home?   Is that the case with the Andrews globes above as well? Was one made for home and received Andrews standard label the other for school and thus received the Peerless designation?
     Finally I want to show one more Peerless globe a classic black oceans Weber Costello with the designation Peerless.  This is by far the most common encounter of the name Peerless that one is going to have these are abundantly available. Also these globes being basic models were primarily marketed to students.
      One more observation, did Peerless start as a way to delineate between the school/ student market and the home market?  Did that distinction blur into the 1930's and later as many Airplane base globes destined for the home market also carry the peerless designation.

OK some questions to think about:

1. Is "Peerless" strictly an Andrews/ C.F. Weber/ Weber Costello brand?

2. Was "Peerless" a part of Weber's school marketing?

3. Did this designation change or blur over time?

3. Did Peerless originate away from  Andrews/ Weber ?  Or was it an Andrews invention?

   
     I've set this post up a bit differently. If someone knows the answer to any of these questions I'd love to hear from you.  I'm eager to get to the bottom of this. Additionally, perhaps I have not asked the right questions then please by all means chime in lets discuss!!



**photo credits Andrews, CW Bardy, an anonymous collector, both 1909 Peerless photos, Murray Hudson, 1950's Weber  yours truly**

 

Monday, October 12, 2015

A conversation with Michael Plichta creator of a new globe of Mars

     Today I'm going to make a right turn and not talk about old globes, in fact just the opposite I want to share a conversation with the creator of a Mars globe based on the mapping of mars by Percival Lowell. 
     Michael Plichta is the man behind this globe:

     
     Art? Science? Fantasy? all 3........you decide
     
Michael has created this globe, a handcrafted 12 inch rendering of Lowell's work in spherical form, beautiful, artistic and certainly interesting.  I must confess I'm not necessarily into planetary models ( other than our planet that is ) but when I studied the manufacture of this item I was so impressed that I wanted to learn more.  Manufacture is not even the right word here, hand crafted is the case.  It's wonderful to see a hand made precision item created today. Reminds me that we still have the abilities if so inclined to create with our hands. 
     I reached out to Michael and asked some questions regarding his company, and process, read below a fascinating conversation.


1.  What brought you to wanting to start manufacturing globes, then what made you choose the Mars globe as your first issue?

I was always excited by astronomy and when I was 15 my mother made me the gift of a little telescope. This was the beginning of exciting nights observing the moon, Saturn, Jupiter and, of course, also mars. I was immediately thrilled by the view of mars in the eyepiece of my telescope - especially I was impressed by observing its polar caps and the dark blue-green areas in contrast to the reddish ochre parts. Because I wanted to learn more about mars I started to read everything about this planet. After a while I stumbled upon Percival Lowell and his Mars-canal observations. It was his book "Mars and its Canals" that inspired me for more observations and I wanted to find out whether I could also see the canals. Two years ago, I was lucky to get my own first traditionally crafted moon globe (Raeth's moon globe from 1976) and this was the time point when things got together: my passion for "Mars and its canals" and the idea of building my own globe. Of course, naiive as I was, I thought that it is very easy to build a handcrafted globe. In the end it took me more than two years to get all the knowledge, tools and materials that are needed to build a globe.

2.  Your production techniques are very traditional,  a fact I find appealing,  why did you choose such a traditional method?

It was very clear to me from the beginning that I want a traditionally crafted globe with traditional materials. No plastic and so forth. Additionally it was a challenge for me to find out whether I can build one as globe makers build them since 1492. Everybody who saw a traditionally crafted globe immediately sees the difference: A handcrafted globe is a timeless piece of art and has a charisma of noble durability. What fascinates me most is that it seems so easy to build a handcrafted globe - it is just paper-strips on a ball - while in reality it is a very difficult process.   

3.  How did you learn the methods that you employ to make these globes?

Two years ago when I decided to build a handcrafted globe by myself I had no idea how to build one and what tools are needed. Because I was lucky to get a handcrafted moon globe I carefully inspected how it was build and of course thought, I can easily acquire the skills. But of course it was not easy. So I bought  some antiquarian books that helped me to get an idea about the exact production process and I started to make some tests. Basically it was trial and error.

4.  The Mars globe will be a limited edition 250 ? Tell me about that?

Well, I do not want to have a mass-production item. My idea was to build something that represents somehow a counter-part of our fast moving time where you often are confronted with short-lived items that are basically always available. So my limited edition of a handcrafted mars globe can be understood as a counterpart of our Zeitgeist and stands for quality, durability and also for a continuing the fantastic skill of globe making that we had almost forgotten these days.

5.  Are you the only artisan involved? Do you make these globes from start to finish?

Yes. At this time PKM is a "one man show" and I do everything on my own: building the sphere, remastering the map,  converting the map into paper gores, hand-applying the paper gores, varnishing and mounting of the globe. At the moment the only thing that is made outside my workshop is the wood-turn works. But I have ambition to also learn this step and build the wooden parts of the globe by myself in the near future.

6.  Tell me about the map itself ?  Perhaps even elaborate about the process is it lithography,  or computer generated?

The mars-canal map by Percival Lowell is printed in his famous book "Mars and its Canals" which was published 1906. This is a quite small-scaled map in Mercator projection. To bring this map onto a 12" globe, I had to scan this map, convert it into geometrical form that fit on a sphere and digitally remaster it.  

7.  Lowell you said was your basis, did you interpret Lowell's map or are the gores copied from Lowell's own drawings?

The globe shows the original mars-canal map by Lowell from 1905. This map was converted into 12 appropriate paper gores which was a painstaking and lengthy process. I tried to make as little changes as possible to give a most accurate reproduction of the mars-canal map.

8.  Touch on something I did not ask?

Lets talk about my future project. My next globe will show planet Venus based on a historical map by astronomer Francesco Bianchini (1662-1729). A fascinating scientist who published a very unique Venus map. Comparable to Lowell, we nowadays know that he was wrong with his beautiful map but his enthusiasm inspires me. It is a piece of scientific history that I love to revive.

9. Are you a collector? Or Astronomy enthusiast?  Phd in astrophysics?  Where did your spark come from?

I am a combined "science and antiquarian books" enthusiast. I got a PhD in psychology which cannot be more far away from astrophysics. My professional interest in the sometimes lunatic psyche of men brought me to get interested in Lowell who was obsessed and unwavering in his thoughts about mars.





     OK, some of you are going to ask, Kyle are you advertising for this guy....?    No, I'm not.... well yes I guess technically I  am but not in the usual sense, I have no financial or personal interest in this project, I just happen to think that this exceptional product deserves some publicity.  I love the idea of hand craftsmanship, were too caught up in the quicker, cheaper, now now now of today. Just like the globe makers of yesteryear this guy slows things down and puts quality over quantity. 

Check out these 2 links if you are in fact interested in this globe


**Photos in this post are credited to  Christoph Hoehman,  thank you


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Collecting globe related items part 2: Toys, and banks

     What do toys, novelties, and banks have to do with collecting globes.  Where is the line between a "toy" globe and a serious globe meant for study?  Well today we're going to find out, or more likely we will blur the definitions more, and come out even more confused than when we started. Anyway lets dive in!
     J Chein was an American toy company specializing in tin toys from the early 1900's until the late 1970's.  Based in Burlington NJ this company produced several globe related items that bear examination here:
J.Chein 1930 tin globe
J. Chein globe bank
J.Chein UN globe 1950's
      All of these items are common and readily available at flea markets, garage sales, and of course eBay.   All of these have simplified but accurate maps that a child learning geography could both comprehend and benefit from.
     Let's look more closely at the 1930 globe.  Toy?  Serious globe?  Let's examine this toy in the context of it's creation, this globe began manufacture very late in the 1920's, and continued with regular geographic updates until at least the 1950's.  At 4 inches diameter it is small but surprisingly accurate for what it is.  I look at this globe and I think that in the 1930's when the bulk of these were made a parent, perhaps suffering financially from the great depression might decide to buy this "toy" for their child knowing that it could, and would serve double duty as a functional globe, notice the graduated 1/2 meridian. J. Chein certainly saw this toy as a hybrid product.  Perhaps the least expensive way to give a child a globe at the time.
     Continuing in the same vein this more elaborate J. Chein UN globe from the 1950's is also in my mind a hybrid product, probably even more tilted toward study than toy. Just think of the political aspects this globe addresses, combine that with an inexpensive easy to update tin litho construction, and as a company you've got a winner on your hands.
     On the above right we have a J. Chein globe bank, there are very easy to come by, were many times used as give aways by local banks, and certainly tilt towards the toy category.  Fun with a purpose I think because the maps on these little banks were regularly updated to reflect current geography.
 
     In the same vein as J. Chein was another toy maker turned globe producer Ohio Art. This company will be familiar to all of us reading this because Ohio Art makes the ultra famous Etch-A-Sketch toy.
     Long before Etch-A-Sketch was a household name this company, based in Bryan Ohio ( still to this day) made tin lithographed toys, including globes.  In fact Metal Lithography is their largest market, not toys.  Below I show an example of a Tin Lithographed globe from Ohio Art:
Ohio art Atlas globe


This stamped tin globe is from the 1930's and features a deco style Atlas supporting the world. A geographically accurate globe, simplified for a child's level of understanding. A toy, yes, but also a viable teaching apparatus, notice the full graduated meridian.

     Well if toy companies are going to start making globes, then logically globe manufactures are going to start making toys. That is exactly what Replogle Globes did in the early 1950's  they came out with a series of globe related toys, but as we will see in a minute their focus never strayed too far from learning.
     Below I want to show you an example of a couple of Replogle's toys that all hit the market in the early 1950's First up a simplified metal lithographed student globe:


6 inch lithographed Replogle globe
   




This inexpensive globe was much more colorful and more simplified than Replogle's standard globe offerings of the early 1950's it also included a booklet that featured games, and globe related exercises that could be performed with the globe.
     Replogle was not particularly successful with their line of toy globes and globe games, nice examples of these are not nearly as easy to find as other globe toys. Here is another example of their foray into the novelty market.  Below I'm showing an example of Replogle's Globe Grams game. This was a step even further into toys for a company that really had no history in the toy business. A fairly straightforward game using the globe as a spinner as well as game board.  I can't imagine many of these survive in complete condition.
Replogle Globe Grams



    So are these objects toys that happen to have a globe as part of their make up; or are they globes first onto which a game or learning activity has been grafted?  Isn't a globe not meant for learning in it's purest form anyhow?
     Do any of these objects featured in this post belong in a globe collection?
     How do we as collectors process this information?
     I think it's simple, if these appeal to you great look for them,and collect them. Be aware these are not rare, not in the least so focus your energy on finding the best  examples of these as possible, you may even be able to score " in box" examples eventually!
     In my opinion some of the globes here do indeed belong in my collection of globes. I'm rather partial to the very first item we looked at the small J. Chein globe, tin or not I really think that this globe is in fact a great example of the  American free market.  What do I mean by this? Well when times get tough the tough get going right! Here a resourceful toy company saw a chance to tap a completely different market. When J. Chein made it's 4 inch globe, and then took the same cartographic lithography and applied it to banks it  opened two new avenues for their products just in time for the great depression to hit.  Did globe banks and 4 inch student globes "save" this company during those difficult times? I have no idea, but judging by the number of surviving examples of these two items they certainly did their part!  I'm still looking for just the right example of this globe, many survive so there is no need to settle.
     Now I know what some of you are thinking, Kyle....you've forgotten the grandaddy of all globe toys  the Geographic Educator Puzzle globe....... not to worry I have not forgotten it, that toy is so unique and the company behind it such a flash in the pan that it deserves it's own separate post.....to be continued..........


Research notes, Ohio Art's own website provided their own history, Wikipedia provided J. Chein's history, all photos courtesy of Vintage Cal's etsy archives.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Some Globe Rarieties from the Library of Congress

      In part one of my Library of Congress (LOC)  post we saw some really nice American globes from their collection. In this post I want to explore 3 of the more rare American globes that they have.
     First I want to show a great globe from a company called Pendleton's Lithography, a Boston based company that seemed to make small globes as a sideline to their main business so here it is:


Notice the small metal loop
 This globe is a 5 inch wooden orb the gores are applied directly to that wooden orb, and please notice the small metal loop at the pole.  This is a feature that is identical to Holbrooks globes coincidentally also identical is the 5 inch size of this globe, as one manufactured by Holbrook.  Did they influence one another? I believe that they did.  This globe is basic in it's geography another similarity with Holbrook.  Pendleton has this globe mounted on a turned wood stand, and at one point in time a moon was probably connected to that metal rod this was a globe and planetary model, a nice upgrade as a teaching apparatus.  I believe ( but could not confirm) that small metal loop was meant for the globe to be removed and put on a string for further flexibility as a teaching model.  Very few examples of this globe exist, Sylvia Sumira profiles a similar Pendleton as globe 49 in her book "Globes 400 years of exploration, navigation and power"  In fact I have used her book as a reference here.
     So are there any more of these globes out there still to be found?  What are the chances of adding this rarity to my collection? Almost zero, but ya never know. There are discoveries in the globe collector market all the time.
     Lets look at another globe that, although rare is seen from time to time A Silas Cornell globe.

 This globe is especially fascinating to me because it was manufactured in Rochester NY just a stones throw from me.  It again is a wooden sphere with gores applied directly to the surface. This example, and all examples I've ever encountered is a 5 inch globe mounted onto a simple wire frame and wooden base, clearly an inexpensive globe at the time of manufacture. Probably meant for student use.  Interesting to note one of these actually went to auction on eBay not too long ago. Here is a link to the David Rumsey collection featuring a similar Silas Cornell globe: Cornell Globe 1845  These globes when they come available seem to always be in less than great condition
owing to their utilitarian nature. As well as the choice for wood as the orb
     Next I need to show you one of my personal favorites, A Holbrooks 3 inch hinged globe. What an ingenious design, a globe showing A Mercator's map projection on the inside, and an accurate if simplified global projection when closed. As close to a pocket globe as we have ever seen in America. This globe was made in great number and as a rare globe they are still obtainable as they come up for auction somewhat regularly. By regular I mean that they show up yearly or once every other year. eBay has even had Holbrook hinged globes from time to time in various stages of decay.
     As a globe meant for children these globes are hard to find in great condition, but the fact that the core of the globe is solid wood helps with the survivability. These globes were also made as a 5 inch orb equally as common as the 3 inch.  I've been in pursuit of this globe for my personal collection for awhile, a great example was auctioned by Heritage in Dallas this past spring. I came close as the under bidder on that one. Heritage runs an unusual auction style that if you are not familiar with it can be a bit confusing to a newbie, I plan to discuss Heritage in another post later.
So here are 2 pictures of the Holbrook 3 inch hinged globe:
      Visiting the Library of Congress was an absolutely wonderful experience as a globe collector. They have many other examples of great American globes just sitting there waiting for you to discover them. Also I know of no other place where you can get so up close to such rarities, a real treat.
     During my visit I experienced some true hospitality and some above and beyond helpfulness from several Globe and Map division staffers, but I must mention one gentleman in
particular.  Mr Edward Redmond the vault curator
of the map division was accommodating, and
exceptionally helpful in my quest to learn more
about these great globes. He is a map lover
himself and the vice president of the
Washington Map society as well.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The Globe collector market part 2

     This week found me antiquing my way through the Ohio valley,  never before had I found such great antiquing in general as in the many shops and malls in and around Cincinnati Ohio who wouda thunk it......well there it was nonetheless.
     Cincinnati is actually an old city by American standards, so it should not be too surprising actually. The places I visited were very strong in vintage industrial, and other re purposed items, being in the Midwest not surprising at all

so what did I find, lets start with the cream of the crop:
16 inch Denoyer Gepphert 

This floor globe is great its a big globe at 16 inches, plus meridian ring it really has a presence all it's own and it comes on an adjustable floor base. It is a  teaching globe as almost all Denoyer Gepphert globes were meant to be. This one shines because it's condition is near mint.  It really belongs in a collection of globes, or at the very least in a home where someone will appreciate that at nearly 60 years old this item has stood up to the test of time.  So is this awesome globe residing in my den right now, being admired and blogged about..........sadly no........why did i pass this great "antique of the future" up?  Well dear reader I was stupid, and it is my slow uptake that will win you this prize. I should have bought this but I had the blinders on and could not see it's potential until it was too late. Email me for the particulars and you can have this great globe nestled next to your Eames chair as you contemplate your mod mod life ...........just don't trip over the Herman Miller coffee table when you get up.....Hipsters.......

     OK OK the  regrets are piling up, here's another little gem:


   
 This is a really nice pre war Replogle globe, with a very nice original base, no dents, scratches, or lost map. It's a great 80 year old globe, perfect for someone who is starting out in the hobby, and at under $50 you will never get hurt owning this desk globe in fact it's a bargain at this price. I did not buy it because I don't need it in my collection, and I'm not much of a dealer, so it's waiting for the right person I bet you could bargain them to $35 or $40 and you will have a steal!  Again email me if you want the particulars so that you can locate this one for your own collection.
     I wanted to share this photo taken at one of the antique malls I visited, they were setting up a " back to school" theme by the main entrance that featured globes prominently.  The floor globe in the foreground was a post war Replogle, as it was being setup I overheard one dealer comment to another, " this is a really old globe, you just don't see old globes anymore"  Interesting observation I thought, I stayed mum of course  that little floor globe was at $49 another bargain I think as it was in nice shape.
     Below I need to share something that happens in every group shop or antique co-op in the world, the dealer who doesn't know what they have, is too lazy to look anything up, BUT !!!! dose not want to leave a nickel on the table lest someone with any knowledge, or a smart phone know more than they do about an item:
This was the good side!

This globe was in positively dreadful shape, absolutely nothing any serious collector would be interested in. Now who else other than a collector would consider $450 for a globe?  What is this dealer thinking?  I guess they are waiting for a fool and his money.




      I saw, and almost bought several other great globes that did not make it into this post, I usually see one or two globes when I go antiquing, I could not believe the number of globes at the antique stores this time.  Granted most were of no consequence, but some were real gems.  I hope that exposure to globes in generalist antique settings will spark a collecting interest in someone, It did for me.......

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Library of Congress Geography and Map Division visit Part 1

     Well summer vacation took me to Washington DC for a few days, let me tell you if you like heat and crowds you will LOVE...DC in the summer, but  I had the pleasure of visiting the Geography and Map reading room at the Library of Congress ( completely devoid of tourists, and VERY air conditioned ) .   Within their vaults in the basement of the Library's Madison building they house literally millions of maps, and.......... wait for it............about 200 globes....... paltry in comparison, but this still makes for one of the largest publicly available collections of globes, certainly the largest focused on American globes.   Many of the globes in the Library's collection were gifts to the library, and some were purchased on the open market.
     So let's get to it and see some globes, first up a James Wilson 3 inch globe:
     This lovely specimen was on display in a glass cabinet at the front of the reading room, it sits in remarkable preservation, and for an American globe from the 1820's it really shows Wilson's skill as a globe maker.  Take a minute as I did to appreciate the craftsmanship that went into this tiny globe, the stand is so disproportionate to the item it's supposed to hold.   Not on display was it's celestial counterpart.
Wilson's 3 inch globe 

Next to this small globe sat the oldest Wilson globe I've ever encountered a 13 inch specimen from 1811  here are a couple of photos:
Dated 1811, Albany NY


    In addition to globes on display you can search their catalog and request to see something that interests you that is not on display.  Here is a Loring globe that I requested to see because of it's exceptionally early date of manufacture , and bowing to English standard setting this is a 9.5 inch globe



This Loring globe pre dates Gilman Joslin's involvement with globes,I find it  interesting that Wilson engraved his own gores, Loring primarily used gores from England and assembled the rest in Boston, a practice that many early 20th century globe makers continued.  
     The Library houses it's globe collection way high up on shelves that take a ladder to access, the vault curator confirmed my suspicion that these globes are called for very infrequently. I got the impression that perhaps years pass between viewings, a shame really. 
     All of the Library's globes are housed inside custom made plexiglass cubes that you can rotate to see the entire object, ingenious and surely expensive but the ultimate in preservation.

In part two I want to explore some unusual American globes.......what you say Wilson and Loring are unusual....HA they are completely commonplace as compared to what I have to show you next..........


Update:  11/17/15:  The LOC blog has a great article about James Wilson and his globes
             here is the link:   James Wilson globes at the LOC