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Rare Räths Relief Globe; Handmade in East Germany (DDR)

A rare find, this globe exemplifies the skill of globe making. A relief globe is a model with raised mountains to demonstrate the depth and height of the earth’s surface in a three-dimensional manner. Originally created in the early 1800’s for the blind, their popularity grew quickly within the geographical education market. It required exceptional skills to create such globes, as each model was made by hand. First the globe received the traditional flat paper gores representing the world. Then a secondary map consisting of molded paper was mounted on top, perfectly aligned with the original map. Unfortunately, during the 1960’s this labor-intensive craft eventually gave way to plastic molded globes.

More Information

A rare find, this globe exemplifies the skill required in globe making. This physical relief globe is simply stunning, offering warm patina with raised mountains and also identifies depths of valleys and oceans. It is also a very rare globe and its value is amplified by having it actually marked Made in DDR (Deutsche Demokratische Republik); former East Germany which ceased to exist in 1989.
Description:
A relief globe is a model with raised mountains to demonstrate the depth and height of the earth’s surface in a three-dimensional manner. Originally created in the early 1800’s for the blind, their popularity grew quickly within the geographical education market. It required exceptional skills to create such globes, as each model was made by hand. First the globe received the traditional flat paper gores representing the world. Then a secondary map consisting of molded paper was mounted on top, perfectly aligned with the original map. Unfortunately, during the 1960’s this labor-intensive craft eventually gave way to plastic molded globes.
The orb is covered by 12 hand-mounted individual gores and two polar calottes. Additionally 12 molded gores are placed atop the first, providing the relief effect. Coloring is in rich golds and greens with a nicely aged patina. The map identifies depth and heights of earth’s surface. Political borders are not identified, although capitals of nations are identified. The orb is mounted into an aluminum stamped meridian which sits atop a tortoise shell patterned bakelite base. Diameter of the globe is about 13 inches with a total height of 18 inches.
Condition:
The globe is in excellent shape with only a few minor scuffs near the South Pole from the raised sections hitting the meridian. The globe has been professionally cleaned and is ready for display!
Well packed, this globe will ship for $39 domestically or $69 to Europe.
$595 — Item #: 0418RATHRELIEF  

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