Thursday, May 8, 2014

A tiny treasure: 1896 H. Kiepert globe

     I'm going to take a slight turn and talk about a German globe, most of the globes you find for sale will be American globes, but the Germans have been making exceptional globes for a long time and as a collector they should not go unnoticed.    
This is a very small world, and a very interesting globe it is an 1896  ( actually dated ) H. Kiepert globe, approximately 4 inches in diameter.  Manufactured by Dietrich Reimer a German globe manufacturer, the globe itself is written in German.

1896, H. Kiepert globe

A little history,  Heinrich Kiepert was a German geographer born 1818, died 1899 a professor of geography, he created his own line of globes for Dietrich Reimer.  So Kiepert designed this globe, and Reimer manufactured his design.   This little gem is unusual for 2 specific reasons, firstly it is dated most globes are not dated. For the simple reason that a customer purchasing would know when their globe was out of date.  Secondly it's small size is unusual, it takes just as much, maybe more work to engrave a tiny globe, as it does a larger globe. 
     This globe is incredibly detailed for it's size it displays crisp details that are often missing on such a small model. It features a still working compass in the base.  The tiny orb sits on top of an ebonized wood base, and in total it stands only 8 inches tall.  I am drawn to the Jewel like ocean color that this globe displays, a really captivating blue green that is unique in my collection. 
     So who purchased this globe in 1896?  I would have to imagine that this was a student model, I am just guessing here, but if it was it was looked after very well.  The condition of this globe is exceptional, but the base has had a small, well done repair, where the wood at one time cracked. 
     I purchased this globe from a specialist globe dealer, Omniterrum.  Located in Lynchburg Va, Omniterrum is one of a very few antiques dealers who specialize in globes.  I visited Omniterrum in 2010 when they sponsored a museum show entitled " The world in your hands" a comprehensive retrospective of globe making over 200 years, I was lucky enough to find this globe in their inventory and purchased it immediately. 
     This is the smallest globe in my collection, a real conversation starter.  People who have no interest in globes at all will ask about this one.  These small globes are  hard to find, many have already migrated into collections, and the ones that do come up for sale usually come up for sale in Europe, that's where logging into German Ebay comes in.....but that's for another post. 

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