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The Caren Archives


Next month there will be an important auction held at Bonhams in New York. Make sure to check out the online catalog for this amazing auction here

Items are from the 1400s to the present, including an incredible selection of early maps of the Americas.

Here is a some of the history of the Caren Archives pulled from their website:

The Caren Archive is the most significant private collection of rare newspapers and broadsides in the United States. The Archive contains an incredible array of original and historic newspapers, periodicals, manuscripts and photographs — literally documenting how history unfolded on paper. If you’re considering purchasing or selling items relating to major events from the 16th century through the 21st, The Caren Archive is the best place to start.

Eric C. Caren, proprietor of The Archive, began collecting baseball cards, stamps, coins and more when he was 5 years old. At age 11, he discovered some newspapers in an abandoned house and the rest is history.

After graduating from University of Maryland with a business degree, he directed a rare newspaper gallery in London at the then newly opened Covent Garden Market. Upon returning to the U.S. in 1983, Caren founded The Caren Archive and has been a full-time dealer in historical collectibles ever since. In 2001, the <a href="">Newseum</a> in Washington, DC, acquired more than 30,000 historic newspapers from The Caren Archive to build the majority of its permanent collection and feature exhibit.

To this day, Caren is still as passionate a collector as ever.

Eric C. Caren
P.O. Box 185
Lincolndale, NY 10540
914 772 8212

Caren Archive Licensing and Some Highlights of The Archive:

The Caren Archive begun in the 1960’s as a hobby is now acknowledged as one of the largest and most important private archives of original and rare newspapers, manuscripts, photographs, posters, broadsides, postcards, ephemera, etc.


Over one million items containing millions of images and important content dating back to the dawn of printing and coming right through the Computer Age is to be found in our holdings. We are currently licensing material to select companies who are looking for historical and artistic imagery relating to almost every major event, person and genre conceivable. Many of the items in the archive are not available anywhere else including some of the major institutions throughout the nation! If you are looking to expand your product line or have a new product line and want to incorporate The Caren Archive brand into that line, please email us or call 914-248-8038. See list at right to get an idea of the range and quality of some of our holdings of original materials.<>

Art in Print | The Digital Revolution and Creative Miscellany (Ephemera and Knickknacks): Part 2

Part 2 of by Sarah Kirk Hanley for iNK Blog from Art In Print Journal


In October, INK , the Blog of Art In Print Journal, examined some of the ways ephemera have permeated the art world, from exhibitions of original ephemera to musings on the demise of the printed newspaper; this month’s post continues the conversation with an investigation of recent and current exhibitions. In Philadelphia, “Remnants of Everyday Life: Historical Ephemera in the Workplace, Street, and Home” (The Library Company, closed January 3, 2014) provided an essential overview of a century and a half of printed miscellany.


In New York, “Rituals of Rented Island: Object Theater, Loft Performance, and the New Psychodrama—Manhattan, 1970–1980” (Whitney Museum of American Art, through Feb 2, 2014) shows how ephemera played a critical role in documenting and promoting the work of artists in the pre-digital era, similar to a pair of exhibitions earlier this year titled “Please Come to the Show: Invitations and Event Fliers from the MoMA Library,” Part 1 and Part 2.


At the Brooklyn Museum, “Wangechi Mutu: A Fantastic Journey” (through March 9, 2014) is the first major US exhibition of the Kenyan-born American who elevates everyday detritus to the ethereal, without cutting ties to its humble origins. Together, these exhibitions offer insight into the changing role of ephemera in 21st century culture.

Check out the full blog article for more info.

Art in Print | The Digital Revolution and Creative Miscellany (Ephemera and Knickknacks): Part 2.

Darien Antiques Show this weekend March 7, 2014 • By The Darien Times

The 47th Darien Antiques Show, Fairfield county’s continuously running antiques show, is this weekend.

The historic First Congregational Church is transformed into a labyrinth of attractive forums for the 30 plus handpicked dealers from throughout New England.

This show prides itself in its diverse assembly of fine furniture from 17th century to mid-century modern, original art, porcelain, prints, rugs, jewelry and decorative items.

Whether a seasoned collector or just inquisitive to discover how antiques might fit into a modern home, this event’s welcoming atmosphere is a marvelous opportunity to come and explore.

Of particular note and new to the show this year, will be Lillian H. Ostergard, Ltd. offering fine and custom jewelry for the connoisseur. Her pieces feature nature and animals and she uses a lot of pearls, crystals and diamonds in her pieces that are all 18k yellow or white gold or platinum. She likes color and jewelry with a whimsical sense of humor.

The ongoing success and longevity of the Darien Antiques Show is wholly attributable to the innumerable volunteers from The First Congregational Church, their sole reason for organizing the show is to raise money for their outreach programs. The Darien Antiques Show weekend will kick off with a Preview Party on Friday, March 7, from 7 to 9 p.m. The event’s primary beneficiary will be Liberation Programs, of Norwalk, a leading behavioral health organization specializing in treatment for substance abuse. Preview Party tickets will be available at the door for $50 and include weekend admission to the show. The evening features the opportunity to view the antiques in a relaxed setting, make early purchases before the show opens to the public, and take part in a silent auction, while enjoying fine wines, hors d’oeuvres and live jazz music.

The show will be open on Saturday, March 8, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, March 9, from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission at the door is $10; $8 for seniors. A café open from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days, will serve home-cooked lunch including Polly’s famous corn chowder.

From the

Darien Times

Ephemera Fest/ Lexington. KY in May


Are you anywhere near Lexington, KY on May 10th 2014? If so, check out the Ephemera Fest, where independent publishers and artists gather at the Carnegie Center. Celebrating its second year in Lexington, Kentucky, the Ephemera Fest is an educational and inspirational one-day event showcasing zines (self-published magazines), comics, and paper arts including prints, greeting cards, and other handmade items.

The event is free, open to the public, and all-ages. It will feature dozens of tables with works on display and for sale, as well as workshops, classes, film screenings and literature readings. There will also be a raffle and an interactive photo booth by Shooting Frenzy.

Co-organizer Cheyenne Hohman said, “I have always been passionate about writing and publishing zines (pronounced “zeens”), and we are excited to bring in another group of local and regional creators. We expect a significant increase in attendance this year, since the event is happening alongside May Fest.”

Hohman, along with a team of volunteers, co-organized Lexington’s first Ephemera Fest at Smiley Pete Publishing on June 1, 2013. It included 30 presenters from Kentucky, North Carolina, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, and more than 200 attendees over the course of the day.

Ephemera Fest 2014 will take place from 11am-5pm in the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning at 251 West Second Street. Table registration is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Proposals for workshops, readings, and other events are being considered through March 31. Sponsorship and volunteer opportunities are also available.

For more info and registration, see or contact ephemerafestival(at)gmail(dot)com.

A history of the modern world as told by everyday throwaway ephemera | Public Radio International

 Credit: Courtesy Philipp Penka Special issue of a Russian emigre periodical, published from 1963-65. This issue was published a week after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The issue begins with an article entitled "Black Friday," describing the view of an Orthodox Russian emigre on the tragic events. The editors were associated with the Russian Orthodox Church abroad.
Credit: Courtesy Philipp Penka
Special issue of a Russian emigre periodical, published from 1963-65. This issue was published a week after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The issue begins with an article entitled “Black Friday,” describing the view of an Orthodox Russian emigre on the tragic events. The editors were associated with the Russian Orthodox Church abroad.

For myself, collecting Ephemera is an extremely thrilling activity because of the hunt and discovery process. Ephemera hunters are able to find magical, little pieces which in many cases document historical phenomena that aren’t yet recorded. Enjoy a bit of this experience with this article from Alina Simone Using interviews with collectors, Ms. Simone shows us examples of this process of piecing together our shared history.

This article shares in the ephemeral titillation felt by collectors and helps to dispel the myth out there that “everything has already been digitized and is available through Google search.”

See the original article here:

A history of the modern world as told by everyday throwaway ephemera | Public Radio International.

The Auction that Launched the Antiques Trade

As a lover of antiques and of the wonderful LOVEJOY series on the BBC, I was happy to find this article to share. Great information by Wayne Jordan on what is said to be the auction that started it all.

1 Marlborough Estate

As Captain-Generalcy of the English forces, John Churchill was the commander of the English troops at the Battle of Blenheim in Bavaria (1704). His clever tactics enabled him to beat his French opponents, and the Monarchy awarded him the title Duke of Marlborough and an estate (above) named in recognition of his successful battle at Blenheim.

The antiques business began in July, 1886.

At least, that’s the claim made by author Jonathan Gash in his book “Paid and Loving Eyes” (Penguin, 1993). Gash is the creator of the Lovejoy character, a roguish antiques dealer whose escapades are recounted in more than two dozen novels and 71 BBC television shows.

I enjoyed watching the BBC series (what’s not to like about Ian McShane?), but there was little to be learned about antiques by doing so. That’s not the case with the books, however. Although the Lovejoy novels are works of fiction, Gash (real name John Grant) doesn’t stray far from the facts when he discusses antiques. He devotes a lot of detail—sometimes pages—to describing the antiques that are the catalysts for his stories. He also goes into great detail about how forgeries and fakes are made, and how common they are in the antiques trade. Want to know about 18th-century German snuff boxes? Lovejoy will tell you. Want to fake a Sheraton table or age a freshly painted watercolor? Lovejoy gives up those secrets. If I didn’t know better, I’d think that Gash/Grant was an accomplished forger; he seems to know a little too much about how to fake antiques. (He was actually a physician and university professor).

2 John Churchill, the First Duke of Marlborough
John Churchill, the First Duke of Marlborough

So, when I read Gash’s claim that the antiques trade began in July of 1886, I paid attention. I’d never known anyone to try to pin a “start date” on the antiques business. I consulted my old friend Google to check the claim myself. Here’s Gash’s claim, from the above book:

“Once upon a time, antiques were a rarified pursuit for scholars… they spent fortunes, and founded private museums. Until July 1886. In that month, the great antiques hunt began when an auctioneer intoned “Lot One” and the Duke of Marlborough’s Blenheim Palace’s magnificent treasures—art, furniture, statuary—went under the hammer… the Great Antiques Rush was on.”

As it turns out, Gash wasn’t too far off regarding the date and spot-on regarding the contents of the auction. The Duke’s possessions were, in fact, auctioned off over a period of several weeks in late June/early July in 1886. In just a few generations, the Marlborough “dynasty” went from fame and fortune to dissolution under the auctioneer’s hammer.

The first Duke of Marlborough, John Churchill, was initially a page in the Court of Stuart. Through his political savvy and a marriage to Queen Anne’s close friend Sarah Jennings, Churchill rose to the Captain-Generalcy of the English forces. When the War of Spanish Succession broke out, Churchill found himself commanding the English troops at the Battle of Blenheim in Bavaria (1704). His clever tactics enabled him to beat his French opponents, and the Monarchy awarded him the title Duke of Marlborough and an estate named in recognition of his successful battle at Blenheim.

John Churchill died in 1722, and his title and property passed through various successors over the next 150 years. The Churchills (and later Spencers), though not among England’s most prosperous families, were well-to-do and spent a considerable sum furnishing Blenheim Palace. The Fifth Duke of Marlborough was a real spendthrift and bought the family right into an awkward financial position. What was awkward for the family, though, turned out to be good for launching the antiques trade in 1886.

3 1st Marlb auction catalogue

The first Marlborough auction catalog from June 1886.

4 2nd catalogue 1886
The second Marlborough auction catalog from July 1886.

5 3rd catalogue 1886
The third Marlborough auction catalog from July 1886.

6 terms of auctions
The terms and conditions of Marlborough auctions.

As the grip of the Industrial Revolution tightened around England’s economy, the “Old World” economy of wealthy landowners and tenant farmers began to collapse. By the turn of the 20th Century, many Peerage estates found themselves in financial difficulty. The fastest way for an estate to raise cash was by selling off their vast collections of art, jewelry and furniture.

By 1870, the family’s financial situation was so bad that the Seventh Duke began to sell off family assets. Real estate (other than Blenheim) was sold, as well as personal property, including the famous Marlborough gems. When the amount raised proved to be insufficient to pay his debts, the Duke petitioned Parliament to break the estate’s entail and allow liquidation of the estate. Under English law, estates were required to follow a strict method of inheritance, called an entail. To accommodate the Duke’s request, an act of Parliament was required. When the Blenheim Settled Estates Act of 1880 was passed, the Duke was free to call an auctioneer and arrange for the liquidation of the estate. The Duke’s descendants, including Sir Winston Churchill and Lady Diana Spencer (“Princess Di”) could claim descendancy from Marlborough but didn’t benefit from the Blenheim money.

7 james christie founder of Christies
A portrait of James Christie, founder of what would become the fames Christie’s auction house.

The Marlborough auction began on Saturday, June 26, 1886, and was conducted by the firm of Christie, Manson and Wood (which would become today’s “Christie’s”) at their London sale rooms. Auctioneer James Christie had started his auction business some 120 years earlier and his company was considered to be London’s finest auction house. In the 18th century, peerage auctions were uncommon, and much of Christie’s trade came from bankrupt merchants and private sales. In the late 19th- and early 20th-centuries, Christie’s became the auctioneer of choice for destitute aristocrats.

The Marlborough sale ran, off and on, for several weeks. Lots offered were furnishings, porcelain, rugs, silver and household goods; plus art and sculptures by Rubens, Van Dyck, Raphael, Rembrandt and others. A catalog of the first day’s sale, preserved by the University of California Los Angeles Library, can be seen here.

The Marlborough auction was certainly the most important auction of its time, but is it a fair assessment to use it as the start date for the antiques trade? I believe that it is, although I’m sure that there are those who think I’m crazy for believing so. In my opinion, it makes as much sense to ascribe June 1886 as the start date for the antiques business as it does to ascribe July 4, 1776, as the date of American Independence. Certainly there had been skirmishes with the British before July of 1776—most notably the battles at Concord and Lexington, and the Boston Tea Party—but in spite of those early skirmishes, we lay claim to the date of July 4, 1776, as the start of our independence. Similarly, there was antique buying and selling going on before June 1886. But the Duke of Marlborough’s auction was the watershed event that brought the antiques trade into general awareness. After that date, antiques were no longer the exclusive province of the gentry.

The turn of the 20th century, would see antique shops cropping up all over Europe, and in America they were found in the seaport towns of New York, Boston and New Orleans. In the 21st century, antiques are in vogue; there are thousands of shops in America alone and countless magazines, books, websites, blogs and television shows that cater to antiques collectors and enthusiasts. As Gash’s Lovejoy says:

“Now we’re all at it. Clever people draw graphs of antiques’ values, starting back in that summer of 1886. Don’t be fooled. It’s not a mathematical proposition. It’s not a philosophy. It’s a scramble.”

Wayne Jordan spent more than 40 years in the music business as a performer, teacher, repairman and music store owner. In 25 years of musical instrument retailing he has bought, sold, rented or repaired thousands of pianos, band & orchestra, combo, and folk instruments. Wayne is currently a Virginia-licensed auctioneer and certified personal property appraiser. For more info, visit Wayne Jordan Auctions.

Reposted from

How To Make Art With Built In History “Archives Alchemy: the Art of the Dumpster Divers”

archives Postcard2


I am excited to have had the opportunity to have been involved with a wonderful group of Artists during my years spent in Philadelphia, PA. The Philly Dumpster Divers is a social collective of artists using found objects to create fabulous new works of art, functional furniture & lighting, clocks, and more. Beginning as a small group of friends meeting for lunch to talk about art over 20 years ago, the group has grown to around 30 creators and collectors who meet monthly to talk trash and exchange materials and ideas.

I am very pleased to announce that I will have a piece in the most recent exhibit of the Divers, which utilizes vintage ephemera and other discarded materials from the National Archives.
Hoping that East Coast readers will be able to see this show. There is also the possibility of the show traveling to other National Archive sites in the future.
I will keep you updated with photos from the current exhibit (once it opens) as well as with info on future exhibit dates and locations.

Here is the info from the Philly Dumpster Divers Facebook Event page:
Please join us for the opening reception of “Archives Alchemy: the Art of the Dumpster Divers” on Friday January 10th, 5 – 7:30pm. at the National Archives of Philadelphia 900 Market Street Philadelphia, PA 19107-4292. ( Please remember to bring a photo ID for admission into this Federal Building.)

The National Archives at Philadelphia had miles of microfilm and piles of deteriorating materials, doomed for the dumpster. They called the Dumpster Divers and asked us to make art from their castoffs.

    Show Info for “Archives Alchemy: the Art of the Dumpster Divers”:

The show runs from January 10 – April 24, 2014. Gallery Hours of Operation: M-F: 8:30 am – 4:45 pm. Second Saturday of each month: 8 am – 4 pm. Call 215-606-0101 for information

The Dumpster Divers of Philadelphia are a group of over 40 found object artists, their artwork as diverse as the group and materials used. They were officially recognized with a 2012 City of Philadelphia Mayor’s Tribute for “helping to raise the consciousness of art lovers and heightened awareness of taking a creative approach to support a more sustainable city, country and world.”

Now, the National Archives has preserved the past by passing outdated materials on to the Dumpster Diver artists. “Archives Alchemy: The Art of the Dumpster Divers” reminds us that objects have stories to tell, even those destined for the trash. This is very special trash with stories to tell!

Please visit the Dumpster Divers website for more info and links to the individual members websites.

Ephemera/34 Conference & Paper Show March 14-16, 2014

2014 Ephemera Conference

The Ephemera Society of America

(ESA) will be holding its annual three-day conference and fair at Old Greenwich, CT. in mid-March 2014, devoted to sharing and exploring various aspects of ephemera, and to buying ephemera to add to or to start collections. The first day, Friday, is devoted to presentations of papers with a specific theme and to exhibits and book signings by some of our published members and speakers. Saturday and Sunday feature a two-day ephemera fair with dealers from around the world and member forums on Sunday before the fair.

The theme for the conference is “Field to Table: The Ephemera of Food and Drink.”Our essential connection to what the earth produces, and how these sustain us is at the core of our lives. Each step of the process from the field to the table represents a different aspect of our society and its values. The ephemera of food and drink illustrates the different points of view of that story, reflecting how our society has evolved. This narrative includes survival, culinary achievement, hard work, the aesthetics of food and table presentation, balance, culture, health, satisfaction and commerce. What drives us? Our needs and initiatives, the creativity of our inventions and discoveries, our passions and resources are all involved in getting things from the field to the table. Ephemera helps us follow and understand the evolution of these comestibles and potables.

More info to be found at: Ephemera Society Of America website

Cartographic quote

map tumblr_ml09pv0Sla1qa7ntmo1_500

“The history of cartography is littered with such pseudo-continents, chimerical islands, dream-rivers and other Wilkean visions, flickering between the literal and the mythical. This is partly because cartographers have often tended also to be dreamers, seduced into their science by the beauty of maps and the flights of imagination that they prompt. Maps seek to mark the world and fix its flux, but in doing so they also loosen it from its moorings: as documents, they are at once fiercely empirical and faintly mystical.”

Atlas of Remote Islands by Judith Schalansky and Infinite City by Rebecca Solnit – review

Robert Macfarlane is enchanted by two cartographical conceits