Going Global

For whatever reason, I’ve recently developed an obsession with globes.  They’re my new must-have objet of home décor.  I’ve been scouring flea markets and memorabilia shops for ‘vintage’ and antiques models here in Paris.

I found a rather small one on a dainty wooden pedestal and in great shape in a vintage shop in the Marais a few weeks ago.  The shop owner was young and very friendly and spoke English, and told me that this particular globe had been made here in Paris between the two world wars.  He also showed me the mark of the company that made it and I could tell by how the countries were labeled (Africa was still under colonial rule, for example) that it was the real deal.  The problem: 180 euros.  A bit less if I paid in cash.  Even at 165 euros, that’s still US$234.  I couldn’t do it.  So I walked away empty-handed.  But I’m still thinking about it.  Maybe I’ll buy after all – if it’s still there.

Although I didn’t get the globe at the shop in the Marais, I did find one at a flea market in Ghent, Belgium for only 20 euros (about $28).  It’s old, it sits on a perfect little wooden stand, it’s got sweet touches including intricate paint work and two axises with wonderful details.  Check it out:

here it is, my little gem

the lovely wooded north-south axis

look at this neat little detail: the months of the year and corresponding astrological signs

unfortunately, the printing inside the frame has been worn away, and with it, the brand of the globe and perhaps the year it was made

I can’t quite figure out what language the globe is in..Spanish and/or Italian and perhaps English?

All of this yearning got me wondering, what else is out there in the world of vintage globes?  So I checked out a few online sources.

On Istdibs.com, I found this exquisite circa 1830 (!!) American globe from Susan Silver antiques ($3900):

photo: Susan Silver Antiques

I also found this mid-20th century globe/clock/barometer/thermometer combo from Gray Morell ($1,050):

photo: Gray Morell

On ebay, I found this awesome piece – a vintage Italian ‘mini orrery tellurian’ tin globe set (shipping from Italy),very cool and only $280:

photo: ebay.com

And although Cram’s Springfield globe is brand-new, it’s the perfect complement to any room with neutral décor ($509 on amazon.com):

photo: amazon.com

Bon weekend and happy globetrotting!

À bientôt,


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  1. Ivy on August 16, 2011 at 6:23 am

    I love globes and maps in general. I think it’s a great decorating idea – I wish I picked up some vintage Parisian maps while I was there!a

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