Published: April 3, 2012
For astute paper hounds, Ephemera 32 was a veritable candy store, but instead of sugary sweets, one found here piles, bins and stacks of paper in all shapes and sizes.
Ephemera 32, the Ephemera Society of America’s annual paper fair, was conducted March 16‱8 at the Hyatt Regency, again managed by Flamingo Eventz. More than 60 paper and ephemera dealers presented a variety of ephemeral material from vintage posters and historical documents to manuscripts, trade cards and maps.
This fair is unusual in that it is so connected to the Ephemera Society, which conducts a members conference at the same time as the fair. Ten Pound Island Book Company, Gloucester, Mass., blogged after the show that the fair comes preloaded with a wonderful advantage through its ties with the Ephemera Society, and exhibitors are guaranteed a healthy crowd of interested, knowledgeable collectors.
Both historical and contemporary material were well represented at the show.
Highlights in the booth of Certain Books, Westhampton, N.Y., included a rare upstate edition of a wall map depicting the City of New York by David Barr and W.P. Stone, Ithaca, 1838; and movie posters from such classics as Our Girl Friday and Indiscretion, Beat Girl , as well as The Creeping Unknown.
Dealer George Krzyminski said he will be back next year, adding, “The Ephemera Society show remains the best in the field for both selling and finding excellent material for collectors and dealers alike.” His notable sales included a 1916‱9 collection of manuscript letters from a member of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force on active service during World War I and two large photograph albums depicting the training and work of nurses, military personnel and other activities at Camp Jackson, S.C., along with a very graphically interesting large image of the inauguration of President Benjamin Harrison in 1888 with inset portraits of President and Mrs Harrison from a contemporary Japanese publication showing the growth of interest in American politics in Asia.
Stuart Lutz Historic Documents, Short Hills, N.J., offered a commission certificate of President John Kennedy’s appointment of Kermit Gordon as director of the Bureau of the Budget in December 1962. Top-level commissions rarely come on the market. Also seen here was an oversized photograph of General Douglas MacArthur that he signed to “America’s Sweetheart” Mary Pickford.
Stuart did okay at the show, selling a Clarence Darrow-signed book and an early revolver archive, among other things.
Ephemera 32 is a perennial favorite for Franklin Gilliam Rare Books, Charlottesville, Va., which primarily sold English political caricatures, along with land promotional maps and brochures for the American West.
A standout in the booth of The Old Print Shop, New York City, was a nearly life-size and striking copy of White’s Physiological Manikin published by James T. White & Co., New York and London. The chromolithographed “mannequin” was pictured in full-color with numerous overlays and was often used by Nineteenth Century medical school students to further their anatomy studies.
Honey & Joe Freedman, Merion, Penn., offered a variety of items ranging from medicinal products to travel, including steamship travel posters for the Norwich For Boston Line, Worcester via New London and Narragansett Steamship Co.’s New York to Boston; along with “Ayer’s Cathartic Pills: A Safe, Pleasant and Reliable Family Medicine” and Pyle’s Baking Soda.
Jack Freas of Tamerlane Books, Havertown, Penn., sold two moderately expensive items to libraries, and the most gratifying sale was of a very nicely painted sign to a young couple that flew in from Austin, Texas, to attend and buy.
Dave Malys of Adrian Morris Antiques, East Aurora, N.Y., had a good show here last year, but this year sold the same number of items for triple the money. “I think the main reason for this was that I tried to display much better items and in more categories, and then give each piece more space, so that each piece could be more easily seen without having to move items.”
His best sale was a set of four hand drawn and differently watercolored rewards of merit with 1818‱819 dates, all given by the same teacher to the same student over that two-year period. Two of them are pictured in the main reference book on the subject, and this was the complete set of four that were originally discovered. Malys is known for his variety at the show, and his most unusual sale was a fossilized dinosaur egg that sold early.
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