Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Classic Globes for Classic Settings

by Trey Thomas

Antique Italian interiors often evoke nostalgia for the gentler days of the past.
Take for, example, Count Raniero Gnoli's refurbishing of a 17th-century fortress near Rome. It helps that the count is an artist-scholar:
one of the world’s greatest authorities on Roman and Byzantine marble, a scholar of Tantric Buddhism, and for more than 40 years a professor of Indology at Sapienza Universit√† di Roma, Gnoli knows what he likes and what he doesn’t.
Take a look at two slides of Count Raniero Gnoli's well curated home:
Middle of Count Raniero Gnoli's Wunderkammer

One end of Count Raniero Gnoli's Wunderkammer
This "wonder-room", in the words of Architectural Digest's Marella Caracciolo, is:
a private museum of natural history the count calls his Wunderkammer. In this high-ceilinged chamber a gigantic egg laid by a prehistoric bird dangles from a gleaming wood beam, and African turtle shells, narwhal tusks, and fossils compete for attention with cabinets and pedestals crowded with seashells and rock crystal. Before the windows stand armillary spheres of Gnoli’s own design, while his latest creation, a mighty globe that awaits its painted oceans and continents, is positioned near the center of the room.
We're particularly attracted to the 'mighty' floor globe, armillary sphere, and the small desk globe on a sidetable below the hanging of a tropical legume's giant seed pod.

Your Own Wonder Room

You, too, can make your very own Wunderkammer that features a magnificent floor globe, armillary sphere, and desktop globes as masterful centerpieces.

Of course, they will not be exact replicas of Count Gnoli's self-designed globes—you might not even be aiming for Italian pizzazz, and we have reason to believe even the desktop globe is a design of his—but, with Ultimate Globes' collection of Old World globes, you'll have the opportunity to own globe masterpieces that, even if not as one-of-a-kind, but are certainly as masterful—and equally magnificent.

Desk Globes

Let's start with the desk globe. We don't have one in the Old World globe collection that's as blue. Being old-styled, Old World globes tend to have subdued colors (notice how well the blue contrasts with the tans and burnt oranges and amber-hues of the upholstery and wood in the room). However, if your room has a more neutral-toned color scheme, consider these examples:

Weber Costello 1921 USA Globe – This one comes closest in form to the desk globe in the picture (here's another style). Like the one in Count Gnoli's wonder-room, it has no visible meridian. Although the 1921 USA Globe is not 17th-century styled, it does evoke the glory days of the Dawn of Air Travel and Air Freight.
Weber Costello 1921 USA Globe

It's greenish gray hues would complement a room that has purple and magenta accents. Imagine this globe on a walnut desk and paired with an arrangement of these orchids—a glamorous meeting of East and West, evoking the words "fly the ocean in a silver plane."

Magenta orchid by someToast, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  by  someToast 

Closer to the 17th-century is this Vaugondy 1745 Globe with Classic Stand (here's a variant):
Vaugondy 1745 Globe with Classic Stand
This would be perfectly at home among pieces of chinoiserie:
Chinoiserie by jon|k, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License  by  jon|k 

For a truly 17th-century flavor, here is the Hondius 1627 Globe with Classic Stand, evoking the heyday of the Dutch mercantile empire.
Hondius 1627 Globe with Classic Stand
This won't be out of place among some old Dutch Masters (hey look, there's a globe!):

Armillary Sphere

We recommend this Atlas 18th Century Armillary Globe, hands down. Although it is not as large as Count Gnoli's, it would make a good conversation piece in a small forward-looking bachelor pad, or a large, classically inclined interior:
Atlas 18th Century Armillary Globe
This will be at home in a Mediterranean-themed Esquire bachelor pad:

'Mighty' Floor Globe

Nothing is mightier in Ultimate Globes' Very Large Floor Globes collection than Replogle's Diplomat. A 51-inch tall, 32-inch wide illuminated sphere on a solid walnut-finished mahogany base and cradle-mounted on a brass full meridian, the Diplomat has over 20,000 place names and is known as "the most detailed globe in the world" and future-proofed through its own Replogle Updatable Globe Program.
Replogle Diplomat Globe 32-inch Illuminated Floor Standing

This not only fits in a place suffused with an intellectual atmosphere (libraries private or public), but is also a great conversation piece.

You might want antique-style, 20-inch wide options like the Annapolis . . .
Replogle Annapolis Globe 20-inch Illuminated Floor Standing
. . . the Statesman,
Replogle Statesman Globe 20-inch Illuminated Floor Standing
or the Finley:
Replogle Finley 20-inch Antique Illuminated Floor Standing

If you're aiming for that nostalgic, old world feel in a room, consider adding an Ultimate Globes Old World Globe.

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