Wednesday, January 27, 2016

As a collector, when is it time to sell....?

     I love American Pickers,  when they meet with " that guy" ( it's always a guy). Who's pushing 80  and he says something like. "Well I'm ready to sell". Inevitably as the episode continues we learn that this guy has been " collecting" for 45 years and now has so much stuff that it has overwhelmed his house and yard and garage.  These folks are not collectors they are hoarders.   Their stuff might be a bit more desirable but the disease is the same.  Chronic accumulators, the ones who get a panic attack at the thought of parting with things.
     Well I don't want to be in that camp!   So earlier this month when the opportunity to obtain an absolutely exceptional early Rand McNally globe presented itself, I had a decision to make.   You see I already own an exceptional early Rand,but this one was different.... A bit better........what to do.....?
     The answer was to sell and trade up.  This is something that sometimes is a bit counter intuitive to a collector.  Sell a treasure I've spent many hours hunting for ?   Yes sell your treasures when the opportunity to "trade up" presents itself.   The globe I sold was soon to become a duplicate in my collection.  It was time to make a change.
     When I was starting out  collecting  every new globe seemed as if it would live forever in my collection.  I was of course naive,  I didn't realize that as my interest changed so would my collection.
So how do you go about selling something when you've spent all of your time and energy accumulating?  I've given this a lot of thought and it seems that there are two reasons a collector will sell.
     Firstly the pure trade up,  in this scenario a collector replaces a previous acquisition of lesser quality with a superior example.   I own a very nice Weber Costello black ocean Peerless globe, but it does not have the most desirable airplane base.  I'm always on the lookout for an exceptional  example of this globe with the better base.  When I find it then it'll be time to sell the other.
     A second scenario would involve a purchase of a duplicate,  sometimes opportunity knocks and you end up with a two of the same items  That's what happened to me recently, and I quickly realized as a prudent collector that It would be best  ( especially from a space standpoint)  to move one of my near identical globes along to another collector.
     The question then becomes when selling do you choose the " worst"  or least desirable globe you own to part with?   In some perhaps many cases this is the answer.  I own several run of the mill 1930's globes that are not particularly compelling,  these are eventual good candidates for sale.  In my case the duplicate was one of my nicer globes, a pre 1900 globe in fact, much harder to find than anything from the 1930's.  As a duplicate this was the right move for me.   So let's see this new globe that was so fretted over :
1890's Rand McNally full mount school globe

This globe to the right is an 1890's Rand McNally full mount school globe. Preserved in fine original condition right down to the green felt still remaining on the feet of the tripod stand. The Nickel finish has dulled over time, the horizon ring is remarkably intact.  The Orb itself is actually over labeled as being from A. P. Mott school supplies Syracuse NY . I can find nothing at all about Mott school supplies, but the Syracuse area had several Mott run businesses in the 1890's. An interesting find, you can actually see the edges of the Rand McNally cartouche peeking around the Mott label ( but that's for another post)
     The Rand McNally that I parted with had an orb in as good or maybe even a bit better shape, but was not interestingly over labeled. Nor was it a full mount, but desirable nonetheless.
     In my next post I want to take a critical eye towards desirability, I want to explore the many factors and nuance that go into making one globe " better" than the other, which manufactures are more desirable, which are less. Lots of opinion coming your way, such is the blogger life!

Look for my next post soon, I'm on a roll,  and please check out the conservation cover from my last post.. Keep that correspondence coming, I Love hearing from others who LOVE globes.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Kyle my name is Reynold Paranneaux I enjoy globes myself. I have something you might be interested in. If you are curious please email me at You will be amazed! Hope to hear from you soon...