Wednesday, June 27, 2018

A conversation with George Glazer

     Recently I had a chance to have a " conversation " with George Glazer, an advanced globe collector specializing in American globes as well as a renound dealer in globes, and maps among other wonderful things.  Located in New York his website shares some of the best items he's known for, follow this link: George Glazer gallery: " an eye for the unusual "  George also offers an e-newsletter that can be subscribed to at that link, worthwhile in my opinion. Below, please find our interview. 

"I started collecting globes in the mid 1980s when I was a lawyer. My first major purchase was an early 19th Century English 18-inch floor globe by Bardin in about 1984.  I worked for W. Graham Arader, the map and print dealer, from 1988 to 1993. After working there I started my own gallery.  Our current location is 308 East 94th Street, on the Upper East Side in Manhattan." - George Glazer

1.  What attracted you to globes?  Many people collect maps but few seem to specialize in globes?

Originally my attraction to globes derived from my interest in antique English furniture and decorative arts. In particular English globes appealed to me visually.  They were of additional interest because of the cartography and in that they were also scientific instruments.

2. Do you focus on American globes?  If so why? 

Yes. I began to focus on American globes when I worked for W. Graham Arader.  In 1991, Arader bought many of the American globes at the Howard Welsh sale at Sotheby's New York.  I cataloged them and became very interested in them from a variety of perspectives.  It introduced me to James Wilson, America's first globe maker, and his goal of providing a less expensive alternative to English imported globes that also more accurately depicted the cartography of the United States. I also became interested in their use in geography education in schools in America in the 19th century. Another interesting aspect is that the stands of 19th Century American globes often followed decorative arts trends of the period differently than English and European globes. Finally, I was surprised that very little research and collecting of them had been done, so thought it would be a relatively new and open field for me.

3.  There's a fire at home you can grab one thing safely, what is it?

Concentric Terrestrial and Celestial Globe, Hugh Williamson/G.C. Wessmann, New York, 1867.  It is a terrestrial globe within a glass celestial sphere engraved with the constellations.
Concentric Terrestrial and Celestial globe
Williamson 1867

4. What item eludes you as a globe collector?

Any American globe that I have never seen any actual examples of before.

5. Are good globes getting harder to find? Does the internet help or hurt?

The internet has made them easier to find.  Still I have globes that I bought before the internet that I have not seen since. Mostly it just takes time for them eventually to turn up in the market.

6. What are your thoughts on restoration?

If a globe has damages, I generally have it restored. Of course, the globe has to be valuable enough to justify restoration. Also sometimes there are issues about whether a globe is best left in its “as found” state to preserve originality. In short, there are usually a lot of considerations in deciding which globe to restore and to what extent.

7. You are obviously an advanced collector, what advice can you offer to someone starting out?  Any advice for mid range collectors?

So much depends on each individual that it is hard to make a very general recommendation. If someone likes recent globes (c. 1930s to present) and they enjoy collecting them that is a great thing to do; they are relatively easy and inexpensive to get from dealers and auction. Someone else might want to form a collection of finer and rarer earlier globes, in which case it would be a good idea to establish a budget and do extra research in deciding what they like and can afford. Nonetheless, there is nothing like buying a few globes -- rather than just surveying the market -- to get a better idea of pricing, figuring out what you like, and to learn what you are doing from your good purchases as well as from any mistakes.

8. Anything I haven't asked that you'd like to touch on?

Just to encourage people to check my website, .  We offer a lot of globes for sale, and also have an archive of sold globes for research.

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