Sunday, December 20, 2015

A couple of random thoughts.........................small globes, and a book recommendation

     I love winter up here in the northern latitudes, it gives me a chance to take stock of myself, get some long overdue projects finished, and most importantly ( to me at least) catch up on my reading.  Recently I re-read a great book about the antiques trade;  titled "Killer stuff and tons of money" by Maureen Stanton.  An unfortunate title I think, because it is absolutely not a get rich quick guide. What this book is about is a behind the curtain look at the antiques business, from picking, to flea markets, auctions, all the way to high end shows. We follow a dealer named " Curt Avery" from the lows to the highs of the antique trade. I really love this book because it puts the objects we collect in a new focus. It is fascinating to learn how antiques come to market, and the different levels of the trade they pass through from being found, to finally being sold into a collection. An eye opener and a book I as a collector can't recommend highly enough.  Published in 2011 it is a fairly current look at the trade.

An antique collectors must read
     I don't know about you but Christmas time brings with it an acute realization that I have too much stuff, the detritus of everyday life...... clutter, junk whatever you call it the Holidays bring it to the forefront. Once the decorations are up and the kids new toys are strewn about I get agitated in a way that is not easy to explain.  So what does this have to do with anything globe related.....?  Well I share my home with a family who may or may not see my hobby as a clutter inducing threat to their comfort...... In plain speak, you can only cram so many 12 inch globes into the average home's decor without starting to get push back from others around you, as I am finding out.  So what's a dedicated globe collector to do?
     Well it's time to think small.  Small globes that is.   There is a whole world ( pun intended)  out there of small globes that I need to start exploring in a new way.   The next most common sizes of globes manufactured were 8 inch orbs, and 6 inch orbs. I find myself  more often seeking out these smaller worlds to add to my collection and I've come to realize that small globes ( that is those less than 10 inches diameter ) are surprisingly hard to come by in collectible condition.   I don't have any concrete numbers but I'd imagine that  small globes survive at a rate of about 1 for every 5 twelve inch globes. Put another way small globes are probably only 20% as common as their larger counterparts.  Also adding to scarcity is the fact that; especially in America these smaller orbs were destined for classroom use more often than larger desk models, and obviously their survivability over time is diminished.  All of the great globe makers had a line of small globes usually just pint sized versions of their standard desk offerings.  Less expensive than 12 inch globes then, but now as antiques the opposite is usually true these globes are commanding stronger and stronger prices with excellent ( top 10% ) examples really doing well.
     Small globes as a novelty as well as a space saving way to collect are more appealing in many ways than the more common 12 inch standard.   Finding and adding small globes to my collection has become more challenging over the years, great ones are out there but they seem to becoming fewer and farther between, but I love a challenge..............

An arrangement of small globes 1891-1929 

Questions, comments, critique? Praise?  I'd love to hear drop me a line, or add comments below....!!

**Also, I as a collector am always in the market for excellent examples of American globes, Holbrook, Joslin, Andrews, Schedler, Weber Costello, and Rand McNally are just a few of the globe makers I'm actively seeking, if you have one of these to sell please contact me, I'd love to hear from you!**

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