RÄTH (Raeth) 13 inch ‘Zeppelin’ globe, English edition, Germany 1936

Räth began making globes in Leipzig in 1917 and quickly became recognised as one of the foremost German manufacturers. The company prospered until WWII, after which the city and company fell under Soviet control. Quality and market exposure suffered as a result, but nevertheless production continued into the mid-1980s.

This is a rare example, printed in English, showing the transatlantic Zeppelin routes from Frankfurt to New York and Rio de Janeiro. It can be dated with reasonable confidence to 1936 as Italian East Africa, which came in to existence that year, is delineated by a series of hatched lines, suggesting a temporary printing solution. Furthermore, following the Hindenburg disaster of 1937, all transatlantic Zeppelin traffic ceased. The globe is further distinguised by having a golden oak base (most were stained dark) with matching gold meridian.

 The globe is constructed from a pasteboard sphere with 12 hand applied paper gores and polar calottes. It is mounted on an aluminium half-meridian with aluminium finials, all painted gold, with boxwood polar caps. The design of the turned golden oak base is typical of the period, combining Art Deco motifs with simple Bauhaus styling.

The map shows areas of light wear, scuffing and staining but there is no loss and it is still fully legible. The varnish is still remarkably clear, so the colours, particularly of the oceans, are unaffected by the usual darkening. The map has been carefully cleaned and the polar bearings have been reinforced to ensure the globe rotates freely. The meridian has also has been cleaned but without disturbing the patination. The base has been cleaned, treated with a restorative solution and wax polished. Overall the globe has a very bright and fresh appearance belying its age and displays very well.

Diameter 13 inches (330mm); base diameter 210mm; overall height 530mm. Weight 1.5kg

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