Monday, June 2, 2014

Newly acquired 1888 Gilman Joslin 12 inch globe

   Today I want to share a really special globe.  I have been looking for this particular globe for a very long time. This is a 12 inch Joslin globe, dated geographically to  1888, it is an offset mounted globe with a brass half meridian, it stands just under 22 inches tall, and is mounted on a turned walnut stand.
     I first encountered this model Joslin globe about 4 or 5 years ago, in the context of an eBay auction, I bid strongly, and came up short on a near perfect example, regret ensued. I knew that I was starting a long term search for another chance to buy this globe in good condition.  I'll tell you this must have been a popular model for Gilman Joslin because these globes to seem to come up for sale fairly often, probably once a year I see one of these fresh to market.
     I've tried several other times to acquire this globe but always something got in my way.  Occasionally I search a website called Fleaglass it is a website devoted to selling antique scientific instruments, that includes globes, but they make up a small part of their inventory. Well there it was, described beautifully, and I bought it from a dealer in Brooklyn NY.  Serious collectors should add Fleaglass to their list of internet searches their inventory is higher end than most outlets, and it is one of the few places to find European globes.
     This now becomes the oldest globe in my collection, and it's now the 5th globe I own that dates pre 1900.  This globe comes from a time when there were only 38 stars on our flag, 1889 would see North and South Dakota, as well as Montana, and Washington become states.  This globe would have retailed for $17 in 1888 a substantial sum for the time! Travel was really on peoples mind in 1888 because this date marks the start of the golden age of rail travel, luxury trains, and competition would mark the start of this travel era, and this globe was produced during this great shrinking of our continent.
1888 Joslin globe

     Lets talk condition, the walnut base is in original finish, and is showing the patina of age, the meridian ring is graduated to 90 degrees, and I'm sure it's been polished at some point but it too has mellowed nicely.  Now to the orb, it sits in exceptional preservation, it has no dents, no cracks, and no missing map. Flaws include some spidering of the shellac, and some minor dirt accumulation especially on the northern hemisphere.  There is much less fading to this orb than the other Joslin globe in my collection, the reds, and greens are in particularly great shape.  This suggests that this globe, after becoming obsolete sat in a closet, or other dark even temperature storage for a long time.
Very vivid colors remain
 The fact that this globe survives in such nice condition puts a burden of responsibility on myself to keep it in great condition. This globe as well as any antique globe  is valuable because it IS recorded history, that history is locked into the map a perfect snapshot that should be protected for someone else to learn from and enjoy later.  I feel that I must mention storage and display, this globe, and the other Joslin globe I own demonstrate the damage sun can do to printed material. Protecting your globe from sun damage is critical, especially if you live in a southern or southwestern part of the country.  I'm going to do a compare and contrast post to show this effect up close. so stay tuned. As always I welcome all discussion, criticism, and conversation!  Email questions and conversation is always welcome too.

   A word about dating world globes,  American globes from this time period it seems were not as concerned about accuracy like we are today, if a political change happened in a far off region there seemed to be little desire to re engrave and re print globe gores,  if a political change happened close to home then yes it seems the expense would be incurred. So what we see from time to time is a lag of a year or two with respect to political accuracy, especially if the area held little American interest, an economics lesson from 1888!

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