Sunday, April 6, 2014

Black ocean globes to buy or not to buy, that is the question....

     Black ocean globes, are all the rage aren't they?  I don't know because I don't own any!  That doesn't mean much, I'm way behind the times on most things anyway ( I still have a rotary phone )  But seriously, we need to talk about these globes their time is NOW , what to look for, what to avoid, and what to expect when you go to purchase one.
Weber Costello Airplane base 1949

     Let's start with the grandaddy of them all the Weber Costello Airplane base . Weber Costello one of the most prolific of the Chicago globe makers is probably most famous for their airplane base globe, produced in one form or another for nearly 20 years from the late 1930's to the late 1950's.  If there is a globe cross collectible it is this globe, Art deco fans love it, 50's mod decor folks love it, globe collectors of all stripes love it!  Dare I say the most collected globe out there, can I lavish any more onto this globe..........?  Well I don't own one, but I really love this globe it will not be missing from my collection for long I start my search today!  
     So what to look for, Weber made several versions of this globe some more desirable, some less desirable; lets dig in shall we.  In the late 1930's this globe was born, but with a very simple airplane base, in either wood or chrome, this was replaced a few years later with the chrome airplane base that we think of most commonly with this globe, now fast foreword to the 1950's they made a third version of the airplane base but it was a bronze/ chrome base, the globe was also available with the more traditional greenish/ blue ocean.   So these are all airplane base globes, but which is most desirable?
   1. By far the chrome jet airplane base with black globe is THE one  2. Next is the early stylized chrome airplane, black ocean. 3. The copper airplane base is least desirable.
Weber Costello Peerles 1955

     In the 1950's Weber Costello made another VERY similar globe, the same in every way to their classic airplane base, they also called it The Peerless, it is a black ocean globe with a chrome dome base. The only difference in these globes is in the base, but try to buy both of these globes and you will probably pay 4x's the money for the airplane base as compared to the Peerless globe with the simpler chrome base.  I am showing a picture of each globe. they are from different years, but they would match ( except base) if from the same year.  The power of cross collectible popularity!
Replogle Starlight globe 1954

     Finally jumping on the bandwagon with a chrome base, black ocean globe was Replogle, they created a great globe called "The Starlight"  A great black ocean globe in it's own right it is probably as popular as the Weber Peerless, domed base globe, this model was cool because it came with a full meridian ring and was mounted in such a way as to be able to be turned upside down, a neat feature. Interesting to note Replogle still makes this model today.
     I want to share what I would be looking at if I were in the market for any of these globes. They were popular, and made over a long period of time, so just like I mentioned in a previous post I would buy on condition alone. For example if I was offered a 1946-48 Weber airplane base in good condition, or a 1955 Weber in excellent condition,  I would buy the newer but better conditioned 1955 example.
     One more thought, at some point the 50's modern look will fade from popularity, trends always do, and when that happens these globes will most likely see a decrease in value, I think right now probably 20-40% of their price is built into their trendiness.

** I purposely did not mention the black and chrome Brittanica globe, I think the other 3 listed above are much more desirable, and are redily available, I would not purchase a Brittanica globe, but if you are just decorating and not collecting then this globe does provide  " the look"  **

All photos in this post are courtesy of Carolyn, at Vintage Cals on  thank you Carolyn!

As always, please comment, lets discuss!!

****Update  1/26/15   A few months back I was able to score a very nice Weber Costello Peerless globe nearly identical to the one pictured in this post, very good condition save for one minor blemish it is a great globe to have, still easily obtainable compared to many other globes in my collection It should be stressed to buy the best condition you can afford and you will not be disappointed!  ****

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  1. If you want to go in a bit of a different direction with the black oceans try to find a 10" or 10.5" (Cram's only made this size) black oceans from the 40s or 50s. They are much harder to come by and in good condition I think that they will maintain their value due to many factors. The smaller size is easier to display and in good condition they are a beautiful globe. Due to the fact that they are much more scarce than the 12" globes they are more valuable immediately.

  2. Did Weber make a 10 inch airplane base? I'd love to find one!

  3. I own one of the Weber Costello airplane base 1949 globes and it is for sale. anyone interested please contact me at I will send pics

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