Published: September 14, 2004
More than 150 exhibitors offered up an amazing variety of ephemera and related materials at the 46th annual Papermania antiques show over the weekend of August 28- 29. Dealers from around the country participated in the show at the Hartford Civic Center with sales reported as good throughout the weekend.
Papermania managers Gary Gipstein and Arlene Shea commented that a large crowd was on hand for the opening of the show on Saturday and the gate remained steady throughout the day. Sunday, although slower than opening day, was also well attended.
The Hartford Civic is in the middle of being torn down with huge cranes and bulldozers having turned the exterior of the building into a skeleton resembling war-torn photos of the Middle East. The place looked absolutely inhabitable, yet the concert hall and the main arena remain intact and functioning.
The typical assortment of early documents, movie posters, postcards, photographs and advertising was available. Some of the interesting rdf_Descriptions seen around the floor included a rare Civil War broadside looking for recruits for Jackson Zouaves, circa 1860. The Zouaves were described by Westchester, N.Y., dealer Ed Caren of The Caren Archives as a Civil War unit that paraded around in very colorful uniforms reminiscent of those used in the French Algerian wars.
The dealer also offered a hand drawn battle plan conceived and signed by the Duke of Wellington during the Napoleonic War, circa 1815, a 1775 Battle of Bunker Hill broadside and a 1668 document signed by Richard Nicolls, the first governor of New York.
It was all fun and games at the booth of Paul Fink of Fun and Games, Kent, Conn. The dealer offered up a wide assortment of puzzles and early games including such rarities as McLoughlin’s “Game of Discovery of The North Pole,” a Parker Bros Sambo Five Pins and three Par Puzzles desired for their intricate figural pieces.
Joshua Evans of Leland’s was there as a dealer, shopper and auctioneer. When not selling from his booth, he was busy either sniffing treasures out on the floor or promoting his upcoming sports memorabilia auction. The highlight of his booth, according to the dealer, was an extremely rare war poster that “started the whole thing. This image made such a statement that it became part of the reason that we got involved in World War I,” he said. The poster featured a woman clutching her child while plummeting into the murky depths of the ocean after the sinking of the Lusitania.
The disparity of rdf_Descriptions seen on around the floor ranged from a hand colored 1649 atlas in the booth of Tamerlane, Haverstown, Penn., to a rare Grateful Dead poster just down the aisle in the booth of Nantucket’s Nelson Allen.
Papermania was originated by the late Paul Gipstein and now managed by his son Gary and Paul’s wife Arlene Shea. The show began in 1977 as a once a year event and soon due to the popularity became a biannual show. Management reports that 80 percent of the dealers still doing the show were with the Gipsteins when they first started.
For information call show producer Gary Gipstein at 860-529-2234 or show manager Arlene Shea at 860-563-9975 or write Hillcrest Promotions, PO Box 152, Wethersfield CT 06109.
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