Saturday, November 25, 2017

A conversation with Jake Moore of Omniterrum

     Recently I had a chance to "sit down" with Jake Moore who is the owner of Omniterrum,  I first came to know Jake through his other antiques business Cleveland Park Vintage .  I stumbled into this web shop several years back and was immediately "at home" with the merchandise and style Jake presented.  A bit over a year ago Jake took the reins of Omniterrum.  I have a soft spot in my heart for Omniterrum because they really set me on my current globe collecting path, and fully 20% of everything in my collection comes from the good folks at Omniterrum.  Below I encourage you to read and get to know Jake a bit better.

1.  Tell us about yourself?

History degree from U. Texas, Masters in Architecture from University of Oregon and I travel. A lot. I've just moved back to Austin, Texas after a decade-ish in Oregon, DC, and Poland.

2. What makes you passionate about antiques?

I got into antiques through my mom who is a collector. I am mainly drawn to a few things: a link to the past, design aesthetics, and the hunt. Once I find a great item, I'll happily spend hours with it trying to learn more about it and its past.

3.  What draws you to antique cartography, especially globes?

Globes were an early love of mine and I really think it makes total sense when you look at what my background is; they are the perfect combination of history, design, and travel! A great antique globe will show what the world looked like at a particular time - you can track Manifest Destiny, the World Wars, the colonization of Africa, the rise of trans-Atlantic steamships, radio towers, the Graf Zeppelin, the race to the Poles and so much more. But they all have a different look and some are simply more appealing than others. I personally like the cartography of 1920's French globes, and the industrial bases of many of the American globes from the 30s and 40s. But no matter what globe I'm looking at, they make me think about travel. My hometown, favorite places I've been, or the next big trip.
A sampling of Omniterrum's wares

4. How did you get involved with Omniterrum? 

I knew Kim from the Internet. I had bought a couple pieces and talked to her about a few others. I was living in DC and running an online store called where I sold globes and other vintage pieces. I made a point of traveling the 4 hours down to Lynchburg to visit the store in person. When she decided to go back to her former career, she reached out and asked if I'd be interested in taking over. I declined at first because I was in the process of moving to Poland and wasn't going to be able to give the project the appropriate attention. When I left DC, I sold off all my belongings (including my globes) and drove back to Texas for a few weeks. Kim asked one more time and I decided it was an opportunity I couldn't pass up! Its been a trying year and half with moving to Poland, spending several months traveling in the Balkans and Caucasus Regions and moving back to Texas, but I'm finally getting back on top of things and will be catching up with a ton of new listings over the next few months. And it wasn't all wasted in Europe, I found some amazing pieces and made some great contacts with shops and globe makers that I'm hoping to do some new projects with soon.

5.  I have always thought, that Americans and Europeans have quite different relationships with old things including antiques,  do you see that? 

Absolutely. For starters, what Americans consider "old" is very different than Europeans! We are a young country and as a result, we have relatively young items. For globes specifically, Europeans have tended to look at them as scientific instruments. We tend to see them as decor. That attitude plays a huge role in how we price/value them as well. I'd wager that the overwhelming majority of globe buyers in the States, just want a $25-50 globe that is "pretty." They won't care if its from the 80's or 60's or pre-WW2 or from the early 1800's. Because its "just decoration" the globe is valued like any other option for decorating your home. And this is totally fine - its how/why I started buying globes. In Europe, there tends to be a little more respect paid to the globe, and therefore, they tend to command more money.

6. Why does it seem so many millennials look past antiques?

I'm not so sure I see that. I think there are huge numbers of millennials that are collecting and buying vintage/antique pieces. The difference might just be in which categories are popular now. There's been a big push back toward learning trades, small batch products and craftsmanship - Quality goods, locally sourced, shop small etc. Another issue is that many people are choosing (or forced!) to live in smaller homes than in the past, and so large pieces of grandma's furniture simply wont work for them. Its an interesting topic for sure.

7. What is the state of the market for antique cartography, globes especially? 

I can't speak for high end maps, but the globe market seems to be going pretty strong at the moment. Pocket globes and miniatures are commanding high prices and are getting really hard to source. Good quality globes are always going to sell, unfortunately its getting harder to sort through all the junk. And prices haven risen pretty substantially for what I'd consider entry level globes. You have all these boutique shops selling globes as decor pieces and asking crazy high prices for average globes, often in poor condition.

8. What advice can you offer a collector just starting out?

Only buy what you love and can afford. Nicks and scuffs are fine, but I'd avoid buying anything with major damage unless its dirt cheap. I also think its important to know why you're buying. It makes it easier to focus in on the right pieces for you.

9. What advice can you offer a long time collector? 

I'd say basically the same thing to them as well. Buy what you love and know why you're buying. Tastes, disposable income, shelf space, family circumstances all change over time and its perfectly natural to want to thin the collection, or adjust the focus, or to raise the quality of the pieces.

A Holbrook 3 inch hinged school globe Jake recently sold

10. What is your holy grail item? 

I have a few globes that I'm always looking for but I don't know if I have a "holy grail" per se. The Rand McNally Air Globe is the globe that I most want for my personal collection (which is pretty small actually), but I'm also fairly obsessed with a tectonic globe that was made in East Germany. These are relatively expensive but still manageable... but if we are talking unlimited budget, then its pocket globes all day long!

11. Touch on something I have not asked that you think is important? 
example of cleaning

Hmm... I could talk for hours about globes... One of the things that I have been getting into over the last couple of years is maintenance and repairing old globes. Restoration is way out of my league, but thorough cleaning, preventive care, and simple repairs or rewiring can really make a huge difference in your enjoyment of the globe. They can also add a ton of value back into the globe. I'll include a few before and after cleaning photos. I plan on officially announcing this service in the near future, but if anyone needs globes cleaned in the mean time please feel free to contact me at

Jake Moore

*** Special note Omniterrum via their Etsy shop is offering a 15% off sale going on now just follow this link:   Omniterrum globes Etsy sale 15% off