Wednesday, December 28, 2016

A great globe related book find..............or is it a catalog...........?

     OK,  so I've been looking for one of these books for quite a while. It is a publication that amounts to  essentially a 200 plus page ad for the AH Andrews company.  It's title, misleading and not reader friendly;  "A teachers guide to illustration: A manual to accompany Holbrook school apparatus "
     What is that title about.......?   Well as I mentioned it's a well disguised ad for all things Andrews. This is the twelfth edition, also I believe the last edition published from (1873).
     So why is this important...? Well it's a great reference to show how Andrews kept using the Holbrook name, many years after acquisition, and it's a great way to see how advertising was done in the mid 19th century.  It's quite a thing really to read through a book that is disguised essentially as a series of ads one after another for all manner of school apparatus disguised as a teaching guide.

Quite the shabby volume?
   So this is it a small rectangular volume about 8 inches by 5 inches hard bound with a guilt edge.  Inside A H. Andrews peppers the reader with all manner of come ons in an effort to lure your business for it's globes, teaching aids, and so forth. This book is packed with many illustrations that show the various apparatus including globes of course. In fact as a " teachers guide" there is a complete handbook to globes encompassing 83 of the total 211 pages.
     So this tome serves as both globe catalog as well as globe handbook for the combined Andrews/ Holbrook company circa 1873.   If nothing else it is a great " look behind the curtain" at the AH Andrews early years, the very start of Chicago globe making .

     These photos show the catalogue portion of this guide book,  I have obviously focused on the globe offerings but there are small write ups covering several other items in the Andrews repertoire.
    The last photo shows the price list for 1873, this I find fascinating because it is a snap in time. It really gives us insight into what these items cost 150 years ago. I found it strange that the Holbrook's 5 inch globe was $2.25,  but their 6 inch globe was more than double at $5.00 why such a price disparity .......?
     Questions like this are reason enough to find and read this great little guide.   I'll tell you the bit I have read was  pretty good for a sales text.  whoever wrote this was really trying to be informative, and not boring.   What good is a boring advertisement ?
      As I write this post I am completely aware of the fact that there are probably 8 other people in the world who even care that this book exists. Of those 8 probably zero will ever stumble across this post.......oh well perhaps I'll inspire a ninth!

I know your dying to know where you can get your hands on a copy of this wonderful gem!   Fear not!  has got you covered with a reprint copy $26 hardback  $11 soft cover. Mine is original and was quite a lucky find.  I'll tell you that story now.  I was browsing Abe Books as I do from time to time looking for globe related items and I found buried in the deep reaches of the
site this copy for sale from Galloway Ireland! So I hurried up and ordered lest some other globe afficinado snatch it out from under me.  Truth be told it probably sat in that booksellers inventory for YEARS until I stumbled by. If you too want an original text then  Murray Hudson has a copy of this tome as well and here I that link : Guide to Illustration his edition is a bit older 1868.

     Thank you dear reader for letting me share this little globe tid bit with you I hope you are enjoying your hunt for globe treasures as much as I am!  

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Great vintage globes to start a collection

     So let's say you've stumbled upon my blog because you want to start collecting globes, or perhapse you've purchased an old globe and now you're interested to know what else is out there and what you should look for starting out.  I want to use this post to try and show a few examples of great beginner globes.  Globes that would appeal to someone starting out, as well as globes that stand on their own as collection worthy items to build off as you embark on starting a collection.
     Now admittedly this list will be biased and certainly the most important rule still applies, that is buy what you like !!  With that said I want to attempt to lead you down the road with a few examples of globes that I think will stand the test of time as well as impress your friends when they ask about your new collection. ( my friends stopped asking years ago, they don't have 3 hours for a globe lecture) .  Anyhow here are a few favorites you should keep your eye out for.

12 inch Replogle starlight 1940's
1. Replogle Starlight globe,  Replogle has been making a version of the Starlight for over 1/2 a century it's a Replogle classic.  They started manufacture in the 1940's and I believe it continues today.  So what makes it special, well firstly it's a black oceans globe. Secondly it's readily available on eBay, and Etsy for generally $100 to $200 so it's a great way to add a black ocean globe to your collection for a sum of money that won't break the bank. That said it is an honest collectible globe.  It has desirability that will only increase over time.
Illuminated Replogle Starlight
      What to look for when shopping, well  condition is key, buy the best condition you  can find. Be particularly aware of chrome  pitting, and equator tape missing.  Secondly  the older the better, try finding a nice  example from the late 40's or early 50's .  It's  a great alternative to the more expensive Weber Costello black ocean  globes out there, but it has the same great look!  Now one last thought,  these were made as an electric illuminated globe also. They will cost more,  but finding one of those in nice shape is a really nice " move up " purchase  for an intermediate collector.
late 1950's Replogle Starlight

2. Rand McNally Art globe:  The Art globe is one of those globes that everyone who has spent any time around vintage globes at all is probably at least a bit familiar with .  Much like the Starlight it was produced for many years and in many styles different sizes and different bases are the hallmark of this great globe.   How do you know your looking at an Art globe? well the cartouche will be in the shape of a clam shell, and there will be several artistic embellishments throughout the globe in the oceans of ships and sea serpents that add artistic interest to this above the geography displayed.
Small 9 inch  1940's

     Rand McNally produced the Art  globe forever starting in the late 30's  and running through the 1970's at least. That means there are Art  globes out there to fit any taste or budget. Collectors should look for  pre war examples in excellent shape. Good examples from the 30's  or 40's can be had for $100 to $300 depending on rarity and  configuration. Rand McNally even made a floor model of this  popular globe, Art Deco bases of glass or Bakelite are most  valuable, but there is something for everyone here.

stepped glass base

Late 1930's  glass base

  Worth noting is the fact that these globes are readily available so as   a collector you should hold out for the best one you can afford, and   I'll tell you on eBay you can score quite a bargain on a nice Art    globe if you pay attention. Especially    on an under priced Buy it Now listing.  Look  for strong bright original colors. The one on  the glass base pictured at left shows the best  original color of my 3 examples. It was  supposed to be colorful to draw the eye and  make it as much about art as geography.

3. Crams silver ocean globes:  I'll admit I do not show the George F Cram company a lot of love on this blog. I ignore them quite frankly. Well that has to change because they did indeed make some very interesting globes that should be considered. At the top of the list are their short lived but impressive silver ocean globes.   Crams got their start in the early 1930's and as a company entering a crowded field, they had to be different. They were not shy about diversifying their offerings away from the traditional. One of those ideas were their line of silver oceans globes. A short lived offering lasting 1/2 a decade or so these are some of the most collectible Cram globes on the market.  Given their rarity you would think they would be expensive, and mint condition pristine examples are several hundred dollars for sure. However a perfectly nice example with minimal scuffs  and a nice bright finish can still be had in the $150 to $250 range.  Not a beginner globe but certainly a strong intermediate globe; the centerpiece of a respectable collection.
     They look so different than any other globes out there. They will appeal wildly to some, and turn off just as many.  So if you decide that you want one here's what to look for. The silver oceans themselves were prone to scratching. This is one reason they were taken off the market, the fact that they were not as robust as other color combinations. Also the equator tape can become damaged or parts will be missing. I would say all else being equal I'd rather have a silver finish in great shape with a bit of missing tape rather than the other way around. Finally these came in a wide variety of bases the metal bases were prone to scratches as they were simply painted. However I'd argue that the metal works better for the whole look than the wooden base, in my opinion.  The vast majority of these were 12 inch models. If you want a rarer version find a 10 inch model.  eBay gets it's fair share of these so it will be reasonably easy to find a nice one if you are patient. Dealers try to also have these on hand as they are popular, and getting more so.

4.  Weber Costello 8 inch globes:  OK so you've got a great black oceans globe and perhaps you've found one or two other globes that speak to you. What next?  Well you need the quintessential vintage globe you need something that will sit on your bookshelf and scream " serious antique!!"  Well you need one of these:  A Weber Costello 8 inch school globe. These were sold en mass to schools, and families alike, small enough to be easily moved around the classroom they were a staple of classrooms and homes from 1910 to 1940 they are what many people think of when they imagine what an old globe should look like. It's the tripod claw foot base that puts these in another time and place.   Weber Costello imported G W Bacon gores, and then retailed this globe as well as over labeling it and sending it through every school supply house they could think of.  It came offset mounted, full meridian mounted, and exceptionally rare it even came full mounted.  Below left I am showing a Weber Costello with Denoyer Gepphart over label from the late 1920's at bottom right is a Weber Costello Peerless from about 1910, this is an exceptionally early mount, all are 8 inch in diameter.   So what to look for, as with any globe condition rules, these will be the most costly of the 4 globes featured, and will vary the most based on condition. expect to pay between $275 and $400 for a nice example. Exceptional examples might be double that.  These come up on eBay monthly so patients will pay off and a nice one will find it's way to you in time. These are some of my favorites!

I want to summarize this information by saying that these are just 4 examples of great globes that a beginner or intermediate collector should be on the lookout for, there are two dozen other globes that fit that category also. I had to pick four of my favorites to showcase. Buy what you like and you'll never really go wrong.  It's all about the hunt for those serious collectors ............

****Picture credits,  all but one picture in this post comes from Dee at Upstarts, and Carolyn at Vintage Cals, both wonderful Etsy shops, both have links active in the links section of the blog, a big thank you to you both!!  The 1910 Weber pic is with permission of Purple mouse vintage also an etsy shop****


Monday, December 5, 2016

Some great globe related reading

     One of the goals of this site when I set out to start blogging was to try and bring together as much globe related information as I could. In this post I want to catalog some great links to articles and other works that are important to the history of globes in America.  To that end I'll start my list, I will periodically add, and occasionally subtract so come back and re check the list from time to time,  here are a few great links I've found, please drop me a line if you find anything great that should be shared here.

1.  Great article about James Wilson,   This is a great historical look at Mr. Wilson and his quest to make the first globes in America.

2.Restoring a Wilson globe , behind the scenes,  This is a fascinating look at the restoration of an 1811 James Wilson globe including 16 pictures of the process

3.The Osher Map Library's 3d globe project,  Now this is exciting, and this link is only a preview.  The Osher Map library in Portland Maine is digitizing in a 3d format all of their globe collection, some 300 pieces in all.  When this project is complete I will update this link!

4. Murray Hudson James Wilson globes 1831 This is a video produced by Murray Hudson a few years back. Focusing on James Wilson and a pair of 1831 globes. I had the pleasure of visiting Mr Hudson's stores ( he has 3) in Halls TN a couple of years back.  If you go know that it is a treck, and make an appointment before hand.  Other than that it is exceptionally well worth it.

The delight of building a collection of small globes

OK.....OK...I'll admit it I'm obsessed with small globes ( those 8 inches or less in diameter)  partly born from necessity;  that being I'm running out of display space.  Also  I'm just in love with the uncommon, and small globes are much less common than their 12 inch counterparts.   Five of the last six globes I've added to my collection are 8 inches or smaller in diameter.   For this collector good things do come in small packages.
A compendium of 19th century small globes
     Small globes in many cases were issued to or purchased for use by children. That's probably the main reason they are just not as abundant as 12 inch models.   The  appeal of small globes  comes into play when it comes to display space.  I have an exceptionally forgiving family, and this allows me to utilize about 400 square feet of our home to devote to a collection that currently numbers 22 globes and related ephemera. My wife does not want globes taking over the whole house and with two little ones I have to be fair to them as far as living in and enjoying just being kids, so small globes it is ( with some exceptions)
     I have to say though that there is just something great about a display of miniature worlds. This photo above spans 60 years of American globe production during the second half of the 19th century, and it could all fit comfortably on a single bookshelf! So what am I looking for when it comes to a small globe?  Well first and foremost condition, I preach condition constantly on this blog and It bears mentioning now, once again that it's better to buy a globe in great original condition rather than live with a damaged antique or spend hundreds or more repairing a globe. All things being equal a globe that is in great original condition will always be worth more than a globe that has been repaired to a similar condition.  The second thing I look for is who made it. Early makers or obscure makers will always be more desirable.  Schedler, Holbrook, Andrews, Rand McNally, they all made great globes that were as small as 3 inches in diameter.  Of course finding them..........that's another story.                      Something I've noticed regarding pricing for small worlds. All things being equal expect to pay a premium for a smaller globe, these globes are much harder to find and thus I generally expect a 20-50% premium price wise when they do turn up.