First Relief Globes appeared as early as the 18th century as an educational instrument for the Blind in lessons of Geography. By the 19th century some globe makers adopted the idea to create Relief Globes with raised mountains as part of their production. However, the painstakingly detailed artisanship had been mastered by very few. Exceptional skill was a demanding factor to sculpt each plaster mountain range by hand on each Globe.
Raeths of Germany perfected the production in the 20th century by producing a standard globe, applying plaster atop in the mountain areas, followed by spanning a secondary map over it. However, they did not meet scale as this model for the blind does. Nor are they the size of this piece.
This spectacular example was created for Schools for the Blind in the United States.
This 1954 model is a first year production as its the first year of the manufacture’s first noted reference in existence. Hand made with skilled artisan craftsmanship, production averaged only about 17 per year. Panoramic Studios of Philadelphia assisted designing the globe while being offered through American Publishing House for the Blind. Though low in demand, a new mold for the globe was created in 1974 and although it was still offered in their 1980 catalog, very few sold, resulting in no longer being offered by 1984.
As mentioned previously, this particular piece is an earlier (pre-1974) version, offering a copyright of 1954. It is a very LARGE globe at a total height of 54 inches and a diameter of about 32 inches!
This incredible vintage scientific instrument offers a brilliant sculptural effect, representing a majestic piece of art. It will demand attention wherever displayed and is certainly quite a conversation starter!
Surprisingly it is fairly light…The orb consists of a hollow fiberglass construction (cream enameled, fiberglass reinforced, epoxy) with a heavy metal base. The orb can be removed as the base allows 2 positioning of the earth.
Well preserved with minor wear expected from a school, please see photo showing the scratches. Solid frame, absolutely no structural damages.
Shipping: Due to size, domestic shipping or delivery charges will depend on location.