George Glazer was among the experts interviewed for an article about collecting antique globes in the Antiques Roadshow Insider, a magazine issued for fans of the famous PBS television show. The following are some excerpts:
On Globe Collectors:
Yet while the pursuit appeals to people from all over the world, globe collecting "isn't really recognized as a cohesive, established, methodical hobby the way, say, duck decoys or toy banks are," says George Glazer of George Glazer Galleries in New York. "Perhaps it's because globes cut across various lines of collectability--cartography, scientific instruments, and decorative arts."
On the Range of Prices and Styles:
Adds Glazer: "Prices vary widely, depending on the globe, the period, authenticity, quality of the stand, and so forth. Most globes produced after World War I aren't very valuable, and can go from $10 to--rarely--$2,000. Those produced from 1900 to WWI are a bit scarcer….”
"Victorian models produced from 1850 to 1900 can be fairly valuable, but again, not every one is great; expect to pay $200-$15,000 for specimens in good condition," Glazer continues. "Georgian globes from the 1750-1850 period can be quite valuable and sell for as much as $50,000. And those produced before 1750 are really quite scarce. To get a good early Dutch globe, you would pay anywhere from $50,000- $500,000."
Glazer notes that these are very rough estimates; as always, prices at auction can be all over the map, so to speak. And the amount that a globe realizes can often depend on its size.
"Floor globes are usually more expensive than table models, and many can sell for twice as much as my general estimates," Glazer says. "Of course, they're bigger, but they also have a crossover appeal to collectors of antique furniture, and that can certainly affect the price."
Globes with "Art Deco styling on the base, such as black ocean globes with airplane bases, are quite popular," Glazer notes. "Specimens produced in the 1940s and '50s can sell for $25-$1,500.
A globe's maker can affect its appeal, too. "Some people target certain manufacturers," Glazer says. "For example, James Wilson was America's first globe maker, so his work is of interest. Other good 19th-century American makers are Gilman Joslin and Joseph Schedler. For English Georgian globes, there's the Cary family, the Newton Family, the Bardin Family, the Adams family, Malby, and C. Smith & Son."
The Moon and Beyond:
As if differences in age, size, and manufacturer aren't enough, globe collectors don't even limit themselves to the planet Earth.
"There were many Moon globes issued around 1969," says Glazer, "and they can sell anywhere from $10-$1,000. A few scarce early ones date from the turn of the century, and they are more expensive. Tellurians, which are mechanical devices that show the earth revolving around the sun, are popular collectibles. Pre-WWII models can sell for as much as $10,000. Similarly, orrerys are models that show the rotation of the all planets around the sun. They are very rare, and thus very expensive. A fine 19th-century example can sell for $75,000-plus."