Monday, September 30, 2019

Joslin and A H Andrews globe handbooks......finally added to collection

     I love the ephermal items associated with globes,  Ive written about such things many times.   As disposable as some globes were and are,  these globe handbooks and manuals are exceedingly difficult to find.   I was able recently to add two such items from the late 19th century a Joslin handbook as well as an Andrews handbook.   Originally these books would have been given out with globe purchase, commonly globes 8 inches or larger got a handbook included.
Joslin ( left) and AH Andrews (right)  globe handbooks 

      These are firstly handbooks but they are also advertisements for their respective companies globes and other products.  it's really an ingenious way of advertising considering print advertising was just about the ONLY medium available to companies in the 1880's.    Between Joslin and Andrews  these two companies controlled the lion's share of the globe market in the US,  with for home, libraries, and especially schools.   The David Rumsey collection has the full text of the Andrews handbook located here: AH Andrews globe handbook,    and the Smithsonian has the Joslin text here:  Joslin's handbook to the terrestrial and celestial globes
      These 2 books have been on my most wanted list for quite a long time.  They seem to become available very rarely at best.   I've been trying to define exactly what I'm trying to do as a collector and a big part of what I want to do is tell a story about the companies that made these objects as well.  So that means tracking down the esoteric bits that live at the margins of the hobby and bring them front and center. After all it's history that is best represented as a complete package.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Exploring the Brimfield antiques show 2019

Waiting to "Rush" May's field 9/5/19
     I love Brimfield,  I'm sure it's heyday was 20 years ago but where else are you going to find a sea of humanity trading antiques in such a manner.  Rich, poor, simple, and sophisticated, in Brimfield knowledge is power,  the great equalizer .     I love the September show,  sure some say May is bigger, but the combination of weather and timing just combine to really work for me to make September a tradition.   This year I took a long time friend for his first time waking at dawn, driving in the dark,  parking in the grass.  I knew I was in for an interesting few days when he said to me 3 hours into our 1st day " I've gone 52 years having never used a portages John "  I replied " well we've got 4 more hours to go, I think your streak ends today" good times were had!
The sea of humanity, antiquers on a mission


condition issues
     Now, I do collect many more things than globes,  I just happen to be much more passionate about globes than anything else, but I also like old medical items, antique coin operated trade stimulators, and old trade signs,  so Brimfield is my chance to look for anything I might find interesting to add to my collection.  Some of my best scores, and biggest mistakes have been made in the heat of the moment here.   One thing I never seem to find is a great globe,  it seems either the condition is not right, or the price is not right, or something.
     Here are a few examples of what I run into,  this first globe is an 8 inch Hammond's globe, that had major condition issues,  the price was quoted as $375,  the dealer extolled the virtues of the beautiful stand, but he failed to understand that the value lies in having a crisp pristine map.

mystery prices
      This group looked promising from a distance,  I was inspecting the globes and right a way the condition was lacking,  I was curious about prices, but here we had a dealer with no price tags,  I see this a lot at shows like this,  unpriced merchandise .   I as a customer just don't understand this.  It would save me a lot of time and save the dealer a lot of time if the items were priced.  the 12 inch globe was $300,  the floor globe $500,  however the floor globe was beyond help with water damage, I was perplexed as to how $500 could be the price?  I inquired,  I then learned that this particular globe had a provenance,  it had come out of some risky dink college library that NOBODY has ever heard of.......OH OK.... mystery solved,  I hope he like loading and unloading this thing at 10 shows.
Replogle clock globe
     Perhaps I have unrealistic expectations,  maybe I'm the customer from hell.  I hope not,  I'm willing to pay for knowledge, and quality, and condition.  I just hate to fritter away money on junk.   To the left ( captioned Replogle clock globe) I found a very nice example of a Replogle World time globe.  It was priced very reasonably at $175 and I'm sure it did not last,  the clock was demonstrated as working and the orb was very nice!   I didn't buy it because it's not really what I like to collect but I know somebody got a nice addition to their collection with this one.
Rand McNally 18 inch globe

      Here Is another globe that Is really rare in any form, an 18 inch table globe by Rand McNally from the 1890's.   Table globes of this vintage are hard to find in this colossal 18 inch size,   this globe was priced to sell at $200,  I suspect there was even wiggle room there.   It needed some TLC to be great,  including new shellac , because someone had stripped it,  and some minor crack repair.   I thought long and hard about this one because I'm just not the collector for this globe, but for the right person this could be a winner.  I chatted with the dealer,  seems it was a recent estate find.
A whole globe collection!
      This collection of objects were interesting,  2 Trippensee planetariums, and a lovely 8 inch Kittenger table globe,  the black painted Trippensee was the EXACT planetarium I saw from this dealer last year this thing has seen Brimfield possibly 4 times and has not sold.  Probably because the prices are up in the heavens.   Last year was one overpriced globe,  now there are 3 overpriced items sitting in a pasture in Massechesutes ( not Madison ave) as the pricing might suggest.   I was interested in the Kittinger,  but the price was so far from reality I felt as if  I couldn't even start negotiating.

      I hope all of my snark is not off-putting especially if this is your first brush with my blog.    I seem to become frustrated easily at shows,  I'm sure dealers are easily frustrated by moronic customers, but such is life.   I love Brimfield, and I love the chance if remote in finding something great.  It's a yearly ritual.  It's awesome!!