Friday, March 28, 2025

Welcome to a blog about collecting Antique terrestrial, and celestial globes

     A lot of people I know who collect anything or who are passionate about a hobby usually get started by accident ( someone buys them a gift, or they stumble upon an object in an antique store) or they start collecting because they know of another collector or are exposed to it at some point IE your dad collected xyz so now you are interested.
     I think collecting globes is an accidental hobby, at least it was for me I doubt too many people know a globe collector, they are rarely displayed in museum or gallery settings, so exposure to another collector is rare. In fact I have only face to face met a handful of other collectors in over a decade.
1930 Rand McNally globe pair 
     So as I sit and write I think if there are only 50 people around who seriously collect globes than why blog at all. Well I'll answer my own question ( I'll probably do that a lot) I think globe collecting is in it's infancy. It is certainly not popular like some collecting genres. I think there are a lot of reasons for this there certainly are barriers to entry, old globes are hard to find, most antique dealers have none, in fact I visit a huge antique mall in Rochester NY fairly often and I see few if any globes and the few I see are either too beat up or too new to interest me. They take up a lot of space, after you buy your 3rd globe you will realize one of 2 things either  1. I need to change my decorating to include globes, or  2. I need to devote a whole room to my collection; many people will do neither of these things and will not pursue the hobby.
     So then why collect globes?  For me the answer is as simple as Art , Science, and History.  I love all three to varying degrees and an old globe has the potential to offer all three.    Antique globes were created at a time and with materials that are just not as commonly used today. Wood, plaster, brass, paper.  Common materials employed for their durability, built to last.  Craftsmanship that has stood the test of time. 
     As a collector my goal is to assemble a representative collection that spans a century and a half of globe production in America from 1811 until about 1950.  Won't you join me on this quest, read on and we can learn from each other.  Scroll through my posts, 120 and counting, 5 years worth, they start with the most recent and keep reading, and exploring! 
     Just two rules............1. don't be afraid to contact me, either in post, or via email, and 2. Let's have a bit of fun along the way.......

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Tuesday, April 19, 2022

The Denoyer Geppert Lunar globe

I am generally speaking a collector of American globes that are pre 1930. However there are a few touchstone pieces that I think every serious globe collector needs to consider, the Denoyer Geppert Lunar globe is one of those. During the space race NASA managed to send an orbiter to map the dark side of the moon and then they coordinated with Denoyer Geppert to manufacture the first complete lunar globe. This is the result:
This globe was first manufactured in May 1969 with a limited run of only 200 examples, many going to NASA dignitaries and even President Nixon. After the original run of 200 the next group of these globes bore the mark " edition : 1969" this globe is one of those, it pre dates any lunar landing sites. Later editions of this globe were updated with the Apolo landing sites right on the map surface.
This globe came to me completly by chance, whenever I travel I like to stop at the antique malls and group shops along my route. This gem was found at a large group shop just outside Cincinati Ohio. It was a shop I had probably visited half a dozen times in the past, but persistance in the hunt paid off this time. It really is all about the hunt isnt it ? I love the rush i get when knowledge and circumstance collide ! Below i have a picture of the utilitarian beauty of the Denoyer Geppert mid century globes, form and function.
Given this lunar globe's immense size it's safe to assume it was an item that was aimed at the educational market. Few of these ended up in homes. Today they do become available sporadically in the antiques market. They usually survive in very good condition, owing to their robust construction with a metal orb on which the paper gores were applied. My goal as a collector has been to assemble a representative collection of American globes that tells a story, every story needs an ending and i beleive this globe is a fitting end point for my collection. I cant see a reason to add any globe that is newer than this globe's 1969 date. I will endeaver to fill in the missing spots from Wilson to Geppert. Given the signifigance of the space race, and the national pride associated with mapping, orbiting and landing men on the moon this globe will always be a signifigant collectable item for collectors of all things space related, as well as globe collectors. Being the first globe to map the entirety of the moon it is historical and therefore a desirable piece to add to a collection. Below i have included the oficial NASA photograph of the Apolo 13 crew complete with the Denoyer Geppert lunar globe.

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

A.H. Andrews celestial globe , a short video

I want to share a more in depth video format for the first time, This is perhaps the rarest globe in my collection, AH Andrews celectial globe c. 1875-1885

Monday, December 13, 2021

A J Nystrom globe, 8 inch masterpiece

I have a great globe and great story to close out this year. I was lucky enough to add a globe that has eluded me for quite sone time . A J Nystrom 8 inch globe , 1928. This beauty features the extremly color rich gores from W&AK Johnston of Edinburough, quite a unique color ssheme for the 1920's.
This globe is not necessarily uncommon, what is uncommon is finding this globe in a "full mount" style, and in excellent original condition. Anyone who's read this blog in the past will know I'm a condition nut. I beleive as I collect that quality over quantity should win the day. This little gem fits the bill. I would be hard pressed to find a nicer example of any full mount 8 inch globe from the 1920's ! Needless to say I'm really excited to add this to my collection. This orb is the same one that is often seen in "Kittinger" globes of the same time period, all Kittinger did was take these globe orbs, re- label them and put them in their wooden stands. the maps and meridian ring, and horizon band are all Johnston/ Nystrom. This globe rests on a very attractive lion paw tripod stand , it is cast iron with a copper wash, very common for the period, and nicely executed in this globe here:
Below I want to share a picture of the Horizon band, this is the exact same horizon band used on Weber Costello globes of the time, certainly suggesting that Nystrom was in the business of farming out much of their globe production, in fact the meridian ring is also identical to other Weber costello products of the time.
So I promised a story, about how I came to find this gem. Most of the time I find my best globes on ebay, but the past year or so I've noticed a definate migration away from ebay. Several great leads have happened through this website as people contact me. This globe came via facebook, on a map and globe group. It was great to have all of the pieces come together. I was able to make a deal and shipping was quick because as buyer and seller we didn't live all that far from each other. Pro tip, The UPS store does an excellent job packing and shipping delicate items, this is the third such item that has been packaged through them always with safe and secure results.
I have mentioned before that eight inch globes in my opinion are more desirable from a collecting standpoint that 12 inch globes, mostly for the relative scarcity of them as compared to larger globes. They are also the smallest globes that were available in a " full mount" configuration. The eight inch size just has excellent proportions that really show the art and science that make old globes so much fun to collect. Finally I will leave you with a picture of 3 8 inch globes from my collection Rand McNally, Nystrom, and Weber Costello. All from Chicago, all also produced between 1925-30. Notice the variation in the tripod bases each company putting their own spin on a classic design. The globes from 1920-35 are really the last of the American globes manufactured with traditional materials of plaster, wood, metal and paper. In the years following the manufacturing process took a decidedly cost concious turn and price beat out quality in the globe world.
As always please dont hesitate to contact me if you have a globe question or have a globe for sale.

Saturday, June 26, 2021

A H Andrews eight inch terrestrial globe 1868

       I've been waiting to write this blog entry for years, as an avid American globe collector there are a few touchstone globes that you want from the 19th century and this is one of those.   This is an AH Andrews 8 inch full mount globe from the late 1860's ,  it's on what might be described as Andrew's signature mount, the gothic tripod complete with 12 sided horizon ring.  Paper, wood, and brass in an iconic combination.  

AH Andrews 1868, 8 inch globe

     This globe is an example of the best AH Andrews was making, the ornate tripod base was quite an unexpected level of detail for what was a small desk globe.   This model was retail $15 in the late 1860's which amounts to roughly $300 in 2021 dollars,  quite a sum for such an object.   The US purchase of Alaska is complete on this orb ( 1867 ) but Yellowstone has yet to be designated a national park ( 1872).  

     This example sits in all original condition, and in remarkable preservation.  The orb is nearly unblemished, and the tripod base is in excellent shape, the horizon band is original and shows some water stains but so often the paper is in even worse condition on other Andrews globes of the time period.   This is exactly how collectors dream to find 150 year old objects,  all original and excellent preservation.  It's my job to now preserve this item for the next generation. 

 These two pictures show the horizon ring and a close up of North America .   The orb has mellowed and darkened slightly over time but the Andrews map is still colorful.   I had an interesting time acquiring this globe as I was contacted by a blog reader with an interest in selling this globe.  Now usually when I'm contacted the person is far from me, in one case Hawaii ,  but this time they actually lived not so far and we were  able to  meet up and I had the luxury of seeing in person before I bought.  As anyone who's had a package damaged in shipping can attest sometimes in person is the way to go.    

     I own a similar 8 inch Andrews that is about 5-10 years newer in that Yellowstone Park is marked but little else differentiates the two orbs, save for the mounting style. 


Sunday, May 23, 2021

A very early A J Nystrom globe

      Happy spring!   I want to share an interesting item to come my way not long ago.   This is a very early A J Nystrom 8 inch globe that dates from 1906 or so.    The map gores are from W&AK Johnston and show the charesteric excellent color of that manufacture. 

     A J Nystrom of Chicago became the sole US distributor of Johnston orbs in 1904, this globe still      features "Indian Territory" in present day Oklahoma which would place this globe as earlier than 1908. 
  Here we've got an 8 inch example of the Nystrom/ Johnston partnership from the earliest time in their alliance.   This is the earliest Nystrom globe I have ever encountered, pictured here with the globe manual that could have been purchased with this globe .  The globe is mounted on a very early bronzed tripod stand, the very earliest version of what would become the ubiquitous clawfoot tripod that was popular for decades in the between war years.   This globe still features the pre WW1 geography, even remnants of empires still exist!   
      The pandemic has affected the antiques market in several ways that has certainly impacted how and at what cost antiques come to market.  Most obviously good things are going up,  in some cases way up.  Seems the top 10% of quality in most categories including globes is moving high right now.  Buying quality condition is more important than ever!   I hope you enjoy the post and as always ask questions, and email me directly if you've got something great to sell or trade,

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

This globe collectors year in review

     Obviously 2020 has presented multiple challenges. To pretend differently is foolish, that said I want to post about quite an interesting year on the collecting front.    Some years I find many new treasures, some years I find very few. This year was something of a banner year as far as my collection goes.  I'm going to run down from the start.

1.  The year started out slowly In January and February I was able to purchase a series of great globe related ephermal items. Including an exceedingly rare AH Andrews original advertisement, and a Schedler globe manual/ catalog . 

2.  March and April brought 2 tiny surprises to my collection the addition of a Holbrook 3 inch hinged globe as well as a great Schedler 3 inch globe.  Both went off to Green Dragon for some conservation work and I was able to check two globes off my bucket list.   Incidentally I was also able to secure an original Schedler handbook to complete the globe. 

3. April found me on eBay with the chance to purchase a great small globe from the American globe and School supply company.  I bought it right so I was willing to try my hand at a cleaning technique that turned out to work with spectacular results. 


4.  May took me on a bit of a road trip to find a delightful Amberg flat file cabinet that would prove the perfect storage solution for my ever accumulating collection of handbooks, ads, and manuals.   Everything cataloged and in one place. 

5.  June was interesting in that I was afforded the opportunity to purchase the wooden carrying case that would complete my Trippensee Planetarium, that along with the correct instruction book make for a wonderful set. 

6.  September found me much closer to home where I was able to locate an original wall map of my hometown,  with some ingenuity I was able to hang it in a place that minimizes exposure to damaging UV rays as well as allowing the map to become a centerpiece of my library. 

All in all a banner year for this collector,  Some of these items were bargains some were retail purchases, but when considered as bringing joy and preserving history then a worthwhile expense for sure!

Monday, July 20, 2020

Holbrook 3 inch globe update

.    A few months back I came into possession of a nice Holbrook 3 inch hinged globe.  It had a few minor issues and I was struggling to find a way to properly protect and display this small gem.  With the help of  The Green Dragon Bindery I was able to solve both problems.  In the picture below I have a wonderful clamshell box with a special insert designed to display the Holbrook globe 2 different ways.  The globe can sit in the  insert in the open position showing the flat map , or you can choose to display the globe in hemispheres on the cushioned display piece,  an ingenious solution to a difficult globe to display well,  when not on display it all closes up in a neat dust free protective package.

In the next couple photos I'm showing the small globe in its protective box,  the box itself is made from a repurposed World book encyclopedia, I love the new world book it's become! 

Holbrook hinged globes were a wonderfully utilitarian learning tool.  For that reason they survive today in generally poor condition.  I am fortunate to have found a nice survivor, and Green Dragon Bindery did a superb job conserving it and fixing a few small issues. It will now carry on another 100 years as a piece of American history.  

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Amberg Stacking file cabinet, a globe accessory?

     Today I'm going to walk in a bit of a different direction.  For a long time I've been collecting lots and lots of globe related ephemeral items.  Everything from catalogs, handbooks, to advertising about old American globes .  I've got easily over 50 pieces of this material, a reference catalog of sorts related to American globe manufacturing , sales and use.   I love thumbing through and learning from this resource, but it's been gathering dust in a plastic tote, if my collection is to gather dust it must do so in style! Enter this Amberg stacking file cabinet.

     I've been on the hunt for just the right cabinet to hold all of my globe curiosities,  and I think I've found it.  This piece dates from the first quarter of the 20th century, and was manufactured by the Amberg letter file company( NY, Chicago) . 16 drawers measuring 11x20 inches each . Perfectly suited for storing many small volumes flat.
      The cabinet has a very unique feature in the two Brass rods that act as a locking mechanism for each side of the cabinet,  they have precisely machined  holes that will accept a small padlock, quite ingenious.  I don't think this is original, but I do think it's contemporary to its use.  I can just imagine a library or science lab 100 years ago taking delivery of this item and deciding that whatever they needed to store inside needed protection,  so an enterprising individual devised a most elegant solution.    I purchased this from a very elderly man who owned it for a very long time and couldn't recall where it was from,  my imagination will have to suffice.
     Now I've got plenty of space to store all of my globe related items and a handy shelf to place a few more globes, a win/ win!    As always let's discuss globes and related topics,  and of course happy hunting......

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

A 6 inch student globe, American globe and School supply, 1892

     I have a love hate relationship with eBay,  as you will know if your a regular reader.   This is a story about why I love it.  Recently I was able to find a very special globe.  American globe and school supply 6 inch globe, copyright 1892 by Rand McNally.
6 inch student globe, 1892
American globe and school supply, Seneca Falls NY
      So  as I search eBay every day I stumbled across an auction for what appeared to be a pretty rare globe,  I say appear to be because the pictures were a bit dark.   I studied the pictures as best I could, read and then re-read the description.   I was set to take a chance I thought this globe could be something special.   I sent an offer under the “ make an offer “ button and then I waited........ late the same evening I hear back from the seller,   I pepper her with questions that the pictures just didn’t answer, satisfied I made my offer.  She accepted and that was it.  
     The globe was shipped the next day using USPS priority mail,   8 days later it arrives I was nail biting the whole time, as I tracked the globe all over its circutitus route to my door.  Finally it arrived well packaged and undamaged.   I opened the box to discover a very interesting small globe, and I was confronted with something interesting,  an extremely dirty orb.  Now in some ways this is good, if a globe has not been monkeyed around with by others than it is sometimes not difficult to remove a layer of surface grime without harming the underlying surface.  
 Here I have a picture of the globe 1/2 way  through a process I employed to remove the surface dirt and grime.    The results were astounding.   As you can see this globe had 120 plus years of environmental contaminants baked into the surface.   Now I AM NOT a professional, I want to be clear that I rolled the dice with this little cleaning project so I will not be going into the details here because it very easily could have gone the other way.  Suffice it to say I got lucky.   Now with that said the results were great, it took a ho hum globe and brought it back to a really nice condition, a condition I can be happy having in my permanent collection.   
     I want to talk about American globe and school supply a little bit because this is a company that as early as 1885 was making globes in its Seneca Falls NY factory.   This particular globe of mid 1890’s vintage has Rand McNally gores,  earlier AGSS globes,, say pre 1890 are found to have English gores, probably from W&AK Johnson.    If the globe has the characteristic “ race track” analemma its Rand McNally,  if it has a figure 8 analemma it's from Johnson.
Early Johnson orb, for AGSS
It's interesting to note that American Globe and School supply was fairly prolific,  especially in the northeast US.  much of their production
Near identical cartouche
to AGSS, and Johnston orb
is aimed at the student and school market, so it's a wonder many of their globes survive today.   Seneca falls was in the 1880-90 time frame home to another company called " Star Eraser" their claim to fame was a dustless eraser, but they for a few years sold globes that were re brands of American globe and school supply, they seemed to stop before 1890 because they are only found with Johnston gores, here is an example notice the cartouche is very similar to early AGSS cartouche, nearly identical.
   I have written before about Star eraser, really a flash in the pan globe maker,  extremely rare globes.  
     So let's get back to the globe at hand,  for a student globe of the early 1890's it sits in a very nice  state of preservation, the nickel plated base ( a hallmark of AGSS) is slightly pitted, but is better than average.   This globe would have cost about $1.50 in 1892 which was a considerable sum.  Switching from imported gores to domestically sourced gores from the upstart Rand Mcnally was probably a business decision as a way to keep costs low.  This is a great example of how the maker of the gores, maker of the stand and the eventual seller can be 3 different entities in American globe production.
     I want to make special mention about the individual who sold me this globe, she shared a wonderful story of it's provenance starting in Nyack NY and traveling through time until the present day,  those stories are why I love this type of history so much,  thank you.