Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Just a quick update post

I have not posted anything in a few weeks  summertime has a way of putting my mind onto other things, but I want to tease you with a few upcoming posts that are in development.

-Trippensee tellurians

-Lighted globes

-Brimfield Antiques show

-Globe makers shift from Boston to Chicago

-A special guest interview ?......

-Secondary globe collectibles

These are just a few things I'm working on,  I also had the good fortune of spending the past 4 days all over the NY Finger lake region, must have visited 30plus antiques shops on the globe hunt  Corning, Pen Yan, Geneseo, Cortland, Geneva, Elmira,  great places, lots of history,  not a globe to be found.....
Stay tuned, questions comments, general discussion is always welcome!

Also blog post ideas are welcome too!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Globes 400 Years of Exploration, Navigation and Power : A full review

     I want to spend some time reviewing this very special book with the unique eye of someone who has a better appreciation of Globes than most other people who might review this book.
     Globes  ( as I'll refer to it )  is a wonderful book that traces the history of the globe from it's commercial beginning in the 15th century through the 19th century; the author Sylvia Sumira is uniquely qualified to write just such a book, she is a professional conservator who specializes in globes.
     I have spent many evenings with this book it is a large coffee table sized tome with well over 100 rich color photographs of all manner of globes spanning 400 years.  But it also contains 40 pages of text devoted to the history of the globe, as well as the manufacture of globes.
     The globes profiled in this book are rare examples of the art and science of globe making, each one tells a story that shows the advance in geographic discovery.  Ms. Sumira takes each of these gems and explains why it's important, and why it advances globe making. In essence she lays the historic foundation for anyone interested in studying or collecting globes. It struck me how little has changed in the manufacturing process in 400 years, in fact up until very recently let's say 50 years ago it seems that the same tried and true processes applied. There are not many manufactured goods that can claim such longevity.
     Map collectors have had the good fortune of their choice of reference material, now those of us with an interest in globes have a high quality text to accompany our passion.  This book is printed in the U.S. under one title, and printed in Great Brittan under a different title, I believe both are the same book,just differently titled ( Amazon actually sells both versions)
     A personal observation, Globes timeline ends where my collecting interest begins, but that's ok, in fact the globes profiled in this book with a few exceptions are so rare that all known examples are probably already in museums, or private collections.  This book looks at the globe as an object that helped to shape history  as well as an object that was shaped by history. From artistic status symbol, to humble schoolroom tool, a fascinating tour.
     In closing if you are interested enough about globes to read my blog, then you defiantly need to go out and get this book, it is through and professional, a reference I'll be returning to again and again!

Rare! the most overused word in the antiques world

     Cruise the antiques section of eBay, Ruby Lane, or Etsy and it is amazing how commonly the word RARE  is used.  It's one of the most common words in an eBay listing especially as far as antiques and collectibles go.   If I didn't know better I would think that everything rare or otherwise hard to find was at my fingertips, oh how I wish that to be true, but it's not.
     So what is rare?  Websters defines rare as:  1. Marked by unusual quality, merit, or appeal 2. Seldom occurring or found.

     That is a nicely succinct definition, so how does that definition apply to the world of globes?   I'm going to offer lots of opinion when I attempt an answer, so here goes....

     Rare as a word applied to collecting globes will,  with few exceptions  apply to any globe produced before  1800  and again with few exceptions will not apply to any globe produced after 1930.  If a globe comes up for sale once a year in collectible condition ( I talked about "collectible condition" in a previous post ) then it is not rare.  If a globe comes up for sale less than once a year it is uncommon, probably not rare, but getting there.  Rare would probably be a globe available less than every three years on average in collectible condition.
     ** I need to qualify a statement, some globe dealers have some very rare globes in inventory, they have been sitting in inventory for many years and will continue to sit in inventory for years, just because they are available to purchase does not make them less rare. It probably means they are exceptionally overpriced.  So when I say "available to purchase"  I'm talking about fresh to market as new inventory, or  up for auction.

Let's define some more words ( this is fun) : Uncommon, another overused word, I think this adjective works well to describe a globe that is not rare, but is still hard to find, or  ( due to exceptional condition) is not seen frequently, a globe that comes up for sale less than once a year but more often than every 3 years is uncommon, also depending on condition I think uncommon globes exist into the 1950's but exceptional  condition would need to come into play here.

Common:  A globe that is readily available, that may not mean it's available all the time, but certainly several examples show up for sale yearly, realistically 70% of the globes I talk about on this blog probably fall into this category, does that mean they are not collectible, or valuable? No it just means that you and I have a reasonable chance of finding one.

So now we have a scale    Rare     Uncommon    Common    the RUC scale!!   very subjective, but no worse than what antiquarian booksellers use,  ie;  Mint, Fine, near fine, very good, good, poor   why do 5 of the 6 sound nice?  only poor sounds bad?  I never understood that.

Next post I think I want to develop a condition scale, one that makes sense ( at least to me....)

So as always I welcome criticism and all discussion!!