Monday, April 27, 2015

The Skinner sale April 25, 2015 Vera Rubin globe collection

     Skinner Auction house in Boston held a Clock, Watches, and Scientific Instrument sale April 25th 2015 that included a very nice collection of globes from American Astronomer  Vera Rubin.
     A little background on this remarkable woman who assembled this great collection of globes, Vera Rubin is as mentioned an Astronomer who holds degrees from Vassar, Cornell, and Georgetown, she is also the recipient of The Presidents National Medal of Science ( 1993) , among many other awards.  Ill say I knew nothing of Dr. Rubin until I read up on her before the Skinner sale, but the more I read the more fascinated I was.  The description of her Astronomical study, even in the simplified Wiki format flummoxed me. Suffice it to say that we need to celebrate women like Vera Rubin as role models for our daughters, and perhaps celebrate the Kardachians a bit less...........
     Did I mention she collected globes........well yes, and they were part of a recent auction. The Sale with a link here: Skinner Sale    Featured about a dozen lots of antique globes, and celestials.  Being an astronomer you will not be surprised that many of the globes offered were of the celestial variety.
     One of the most noteworthy in my opinion were a pair of globes from George Phillip and sons London please follow the link here:  Phillips 6 inch globe pair  This delightful pair was estimated at $400-$600 but blew those numbers away with a hammer price of $1,722 including premium.  Now that's a lot of money for a small pair of globes from the 1920's......Or is it?   You see this lot demonstrates the power of having a pair. Collectors love a pair of items, the magic of a set! That, and exceptional condition drove this  lot to the lofty price Given that assembling a pair would take an incredible amount of time searching, more than justifies the price.
     I want to mention one more standout Lot 212 a Gilman Joslin 16 inch celestial table globe linked here:  Joslin 16 inch celestial globe   I want to use this globe to illustrate desirability.  This globe checks all the boxes:  great condition,  hard to find size, and celestial sphere rarity, sold for $2,700 this was a bargain considering that at 125-130 years old these don't come up very often, I'm betting the buyer owns the terrestrial counterpart, even if not whoever bought this globe bought one of the nicest examples of a Joslin celestial globe you will find, and the impressive 16 inch size only adds to the rarity of this beauty.
     I encourage you to follow the links, and browse this sale, globes start at lot 211 but there are many more great scientific instruments and such that are related. These auction archives are the best way I've found to get a sense of what's available in the antiques market, as well as where prices are falling for different categories of antiques and collectibles ( always a moving target)

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