Frequently Asked Questions
Gas Globes by Scott Benjamin
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FAQ - Globes
Here I'll discuss questions about gas globes that come up fairly often. This will be a good review for advanced collectors and important information for the beginning or intermediate collector. .
Pricing Incomplete Globes
What's the value of a single insert globe? Take the retail value, subtract the value of the body, divide by two and then re-add the value of the body. For instance, a Mobil on 15" metal, complete, is worth $650, retail. If the metal body is worth $150, then each insert is worth $250. So one insert on a good body is worth $400. This is how I estimate the value of a broken three-piece metal, glass or Capco globe.
Pricing a Damaged Globe
Often, I am asked about pricing a damaged globe. As an example here, consider that you found a White Eagle Gasoline globe with a chip out of his beak - what's it worth? Pricing damaged globes can be a very difficult thing to do. And, in the end, it's only an estimate. But, first, you must start with a base or foundation and build from there. This principle applies to any damaged globe. Your first step is to determine what the globe is worth in mint condition and work backwards from there.
In this example you determine that you have a medium detailed White Eagle globe. The current retail value of this item in mint condition is about $1,900-$2,100. For practical reasons, let's say $2,000. You have completed the first step. Step two is to determine how much damage there is or what type of damage it is. Base chips are accepted by most collectors. Big chunks out of a base hurt the value a fair amount. But here we have damage in the upper body of the globe, specifically the beak of the eagle. Important questions are as follows: Is a piece broken out and has the piece been replaced? Has the piece been filled with a material other than glass? Are there cracks running away from the broken area that may continue to expand or run and create further damage? And, the most important question, how big an area are we talking about? Let's not get too technical here and just use common sense. Obviously, the smaller the hole or damage, the less it will effect the value. A piece of glass knocked out and then put back in is better than bondo or epoxy filler. If cracks run from the damaged area then future damage is possible. Again, use common sense. An insert broken into 16 pieces is worth less than one broken in two pieces. Holes with no pieces to replace them greatly effect value. Whereas if you have the pieces it will have less of an effect on the value. Back to the eagle. Once you quickly assess the damage you determine it to be a one inch irregular shaped hole with the original piece put back into place.
A mint Eagle of this type is worth $2,000, so what is this particular damaged piece worth? I'd say somewhere between $1,000 and $1,500. Keep in mind that if you plan to resell the item that many collectors would never buy such a piece. But, it is certainly worth $1,000 and possibly $1,500. It could be worth even more or even less to some people. The rarer the globe, the less that damage will effect it's value. A broken Dino globe that is very common is nearly worthless. I've heard of a single broken Gilmore insert bringing over $1,000. So, if you find a very rare globe and really want it, I would not pass it up. You can always upgrade, but keep in mind that you may also never get that chance! There are some very rare globes that I would love to own in any condition. B-B holes effect value on one-piece globes but not tremendously.
The same goes for inserts. You've got to weigh many factors. Inserts that have pieces missing, cracks, etc., have very little value unless they are extremely beautiful or extremely desirable. A Rainbow single insert might be worth $6,000. Broken in half, it still might bring $1,500. Remember how to price a single insert globe. Take the retail value, subtract the value of the body, divide by two and then re-add the value of the body. For instance, a Mobil on 15" metal, complete, is worth $650, retail. If the metal body is worth $150, then each insert is worth $250. So one insert on a good body is worth $400. This is how I estimate the value of a broken three-piece metal, glass or Capco globe. That is your base price. Now, what is the insert that is broken worth? Not much, maybe $25-$50, tops. Again, is it broken in half or in 20 pieces? At least you have a globe that is going to have a minimum potential value of $400 plus. It could be worth $425 or $450. Just figure out the retail value, assess the type of damage and go from there. As globes become rarer and have more value, damaged globes will become more desirable. As technology warrants fixing globes in such a way as to where you can't really see the damage, well...who knows what will happen in terms of value then. Use these basics to price your damaged globes.