By now, if you've been a reader of this blog you will know that a lot of the fun, as well as the frustration collecting globes comes from the hunt ! Tracking down these treasures that we seek is a delightful challenge often involving sifting through the endless dross that is ebay.
Once in a while, every couple of years or so a collection of exceptional globes will make it's way onto the auction stage. This is just what happened this past weekend at the Neal Auction Company in New Orleans. Amongst the 600 plus lots that made up their Winter estate auction were a fine collection of antique globes, a dozen or so prime examples. This was an excellent opportunity to find an exceptional globe for ones collection or as an auction observer , a great chance to gage the state of the market for antique globes.
Below I want to highlight 5 globes from this sale so let's begin:
Here we have an excellent example of a Joslin/ Loring full mount globe, in the more unusual 9.5 inch size this globe is in excellent preservation and shows off the best of the Boston globe maker's skill. This example is dated at the cartouche as 1866, a great example of the USA just after the civil war and just before Alaska was being added to the union, in fact it is shown as Russian America on this globe This globe was hammered sold at $2100 plus buyers premium. A fine example, and a respectable price for this globe.
To the left you will see an exceptional example of Joslin's school globe from the 1870's. This is an early version of this globe as Joslin made this 6 inch globe on ebonized stand from the 1870's into the 1890's. They are never dated, you need to know your geography to estimate the date. Condition again of this example is excellent. It brought a hearty $1600 plus premium. I think that price just goes to show that exceptional condition means everything in the antiques business. I would expect more mediocre examples to bring 1/2 of this price.
Ah.....perhaps my favorite globe in this auction a near mint Geographic educator puzzle globe. So what price perfection, well in this case an eye popping $1400 plus premium. Ask yourself, how many of there exist in a complete state....? Now of those how many still have the box....? I own this same globe but without box, and with one missing puzzle piece. These are tough to find in this exceptional condition, again a testament to condition.
So some final thoughts concerning the Neal estate auction.
Firstly I must say as a first time bidder and an unknown to them, I was treated very well. I had several specific questions about several lots and each time my queries were answered with complete information, and extra pictures. The staff at Neal Auction Company made it very easy to participate, a class act all around.
Secondly, groups of fine globes as were assembled here are rare at auction, these sales offer the singular best chance a collector has to obtain those rarely obtainable gems that elevate a collection.
Third, The auction results reviewed here show that great items, that is items in exceptional original condition will always bring high prices. This is true despite outside economic factors, or general taste changes in antique markets. If you buy the best condition you can afford you will not get hurt.
Finally, I am told that the April 2017 auction will feature some more globes so we will have to keep our eyes open for that event, here is the link direct to Neal Auction Company
****All photographs in this post are courtesy of Neal Auction Company, used with their permission, a special thanks to Neal Alford, and Marc Fagan****