Monday, September 11, 2017

What is your goal as a collector.......?

     I feel strongly that everyone who collects should have a goal in mind.  I believe that a goal driven collection is stronger and more focused.  This goes for any collection sports cards, TV guides, and especially antique cartography.
     I've always said all globe collectors are map collectors but not all map collectors are globe collectors.   My focus as a collector has been to assemble a representative collection of American globe making from 1811 until about 1960 I believe it will take a collection of about 50 globes to properly achieve this,  if you're counting,  I'm at 25 right now as I write this.  Am I 1/2 way done? Mathematically yes, but realistically I'm probably 1/3 of the way there.  That's because some of what I own is not going to make the cut later on as I refine what those 50 final globes should be.
     I'm still missing several landmark American globes, A Wilson globe, of course is the most glaring example. However just as important are examples from Holbrook, and Schedler, also a geard tellurion from Laing, or Trippensee is a must to round out this collection.  Not to mention I have some gaps in political dates such as 1905-1919  I'm without a globe for this important transitional date.  If your reading this and have a great globe from 1910 drop me a line!
A great item, but a non core item
     So back to my original statement goals are important in building a collection.  I think a stated goal prevents us from buying marginal items, keeping us focused on what is important.  As many collectors ( me included) have limited resources to devote, we must keep non core purchases to a minimum.  For example
In my last post I showed 2 great relief maps produced at the turn of the 20th century. There were great items priced nicely. I left them behind........why.....?  Well they didn't fit my goal, they were certainly relatable on the margins but they were not close enough to my core to warrant purchase.
     These were used in schools, and they are maps but that's where the comparison stops, these would be great for a pure map collector, or a vintage school collector, not necessarily a globe collector.  Now this does not mean as a focused collector you should never stray.  I own some delightful maps but I own them for their singular appeal to me not as additions to my collection.
The only illuminated globe I need
mid 1940's Replogle
     I think after a few years collecting, learning as much as you possibly can about a subject you should start defining the boundaries of a collection.  For me that involved setting a timeline, 1811 is the start of commercial globe production in the United States, and 1960 is as far into the 20th century as I would possibly go , I just feel things become too common, and too generic after this point.   Other limits I've placed include type of globes.  For example from the 1930's until the 1960's illuminated globes were popular, I feel my collection is well served with one nice illuminated globe.  Now others will see that and say, hey I want ALL illuminated globes, great I say there's room for everybody. I'll stick with one.
     Another limiting factor I have involves tin globes, there were many great tin globes manufactured from 1925-1950 or so but I really only needed to have the one or two best representative of this sub genera of globes. I chose the J Chein late 1920's globe and the Denoyer Geppert 4 inch student globes. The rest in my mind fall towards toys and novelties. I tried to skew my selections towards educational intent.
1867 J Schedler globe 3"
     So whats left for me, well a whole world of artistic and scientific apparatus, here's a great example of a globe I hope to add at some point.  A Schedler 3 inch self contained globe. You see this little gem comes with a box that doubles as a mount for the globe, clever and rare.  This globe appeals to me at the core it's small, easily displayed, a bit of a novelty. I love it, the trick will be in finding it, they come around only every so often.
     Focusing as a collector allows me the justification to not buy something which as everybody knows is sometimes the hardest part.  When I was a new collector I suffered from that sinking feeling that " I better hurry up and grab everything for sale" there might not be another.  In 99% of the cases I have come to know that there is always another item waiting in the wings.  One of the best lessons I've come to learn is that the best decision is sometimes the decision not to buy something.  It goes against human nature a bit but it's benefits are immense.  I have a few regrets as a collector, but I think they balance very nicely with the land mines avoided by careful acquisition.

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