Monday, March 31, 2014

Finding antique and vintage globes or The treasure hunt.......

     Where do you find these globes?  probably the most asked question I get.  I addition to dealers ( later post ) and Ebay, where do they come from?   Lets explore our options......

1. The Internet, I'm skipping Ebay to focus on all other avenues.  My favorite site for scouting out antique and vintage anything, especially globes is Etsy. What a great site, very underutilized by antiques sellers and hunters, Etsy is only growing in favor in the antiques world. There are several specialist sellers on this site and many more antique pickers that seem to bring nice globes to market at a regular rate.  Also it's very easy to navigate quickly.

2. My next favorite is a site that compiles auction listings from large and small auction houses here and in Europe.  If a small Midwestern auctioneer has 1 or 2 nice globes from an estate and posts them on Live then you as the collector win by finding them and the auctioneer wins by finding you. Now buying on Live is complicated, I am not very skilled, but I'm getting better. The problems arise because Liveauctions hosts the lots for sale, but you are always doing business with the auction house on the other end, remember buyers premiums up to 25% plus shipping charges will add to your cost so please keep that in mind when bidding.

3. Networking with other collectors, this is a very rewarding way to add to and sometimes subtract from your collection, when you are engaged with others in your field of interest it makes finding that next great thing easier and much more fun.  In a lot of ways the main goal of this blog is to bring other collectors together to share knowledge, globes and enthusiasm!  Actually this is my favorite way to find a globe!

4. Estate sales, one in 100 sales will have a nice globe, this takes a LOT of time, but prices are best

5. Non specialist antiques stores; so you walk into your local antiques store, or co-op and they happen to have a globe.  One of two things will happen, It will be wonderful and rare and impossibly overpriced, or  more commonly it will be in horrible condition, and impossibly overpriced. You see general antiques dealers encounter few globes, and ALWAYS overprice them,  once in 7 years have I had success and found a great globe, my problem is that it happened 6.9 years ago and I'm a sucker for this method. Beginners luck was my curse......

A final thought on finding globes:  I have always believed that antique globes, especially in America have not yet had their day in the sun, they are hard to find, and so many people never get exposed to the possibility of assembling a collection full of history.  Yes 50's and 60's globes have been a passing fad with the people who populate Apartment therapy, and Houzz but few ever go further than skin deep with their interest.  The middle ground of globe collecting 1850- 1950  is sitting quietly waiting for us to discover. A treasure hunt for sure because it can take a long time to unearth one of these gems.

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