An exceptionally rare Relief (Braille) Globe for the Blind dated 1954

An exceptionally rare find, this dominant artifact is an individual piece of art as much as a scientific educational tool. Artisan craftsmanship is evident, as these large representations of Earth had been produced by hand, one model at a time. Averaging a production of only 17 a year, these sculptures of our World are rare to obtain. An exquisite original Mid Century Modern Artifact which we are proud to offer for the very first time.

More Information

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.
$3,995 — Item #: 814RELBLND54 


  1. dagmar Peterson

    I have one just like this except mine is from 1954! Its absolutely grand! I don’t think pictures could ever do it justice. Im glad to see there are a few more still out there.

  2. Kim Soerensen

    Hi Dagmar, we love this one too! You have gotten yourself a really fine piece of which only a few still exist. Congrats!

  3. Ben

    I have one in my garage. Does anyone know who would want to purchase?

    • Jake Moore

      Hello Ben! I’d be interested in seeing pictures of it. Where are you located?

  4. jake H

    Hello Ben! I’d also be interested in seeing picture. It would be an amazing gift for my teacher of the visually impaired wife.

  5. Shenandoah Turner

    I have a 1959 version of this globe. It’s obviously well loved and used. Lots of good energy.
    I see the quote for the one one this site, but that seems low for such a unique item.
    Any suggestions or offerings?

  6. John H Hazouri

    I also have one, it is one of the most amazing things I’ve had the pleasure of seeing, pictures truly don’t do it justice.

  7. John H Hazouri

    I’m interested in selling the one I have,if anyone is interested.

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