Tag Archives: ephemera

Hooray for Subscriber Number 700!!

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Congrats to User: MelindaWenger

For being the 700th Subscriber Melinda will be receiving a 50% off discount coupon to
9 Miles of Wonder on Etsy as well as a free packet of vintage ephemera.

Thanks and all current Subscribers should check your emails for your discount coupon in acknowledgement of your support for 9 Miles of Ephemera & Antiques!

More chances to win:

But wait there are more chances to win:

The lucky person who is the 600th Like on the 9 Miles Of Ephemera Facebook Page will receive a 40% off coupon for my Etsy shop 9 Miles Of Wonder as well as a pack of Ephemera.

If you are already a follower…Fear not there is still a way for you to be WINNER!
Simply share with a friend who joins as number 600 & you will receive an additional 30% off and a pack of 10 pieces of Ephemera.
(Please make sure your friend tags you in their post or mentions you).

The second part of the contest is for my website & blog.

The 750th Subscriber on this site will also receive a coupon for 50% off and a packet of Ephemera.

If you are already a Subscriber on this website and you share this site with a friend who signs up, you will win an additional coupon for 30% off and a packet of Ephemera. Make sure your friend sends along your Subscriber name or email after they sign up.

Also as always, please send me your suggestions for the site as well as comments on what you like about the site.
Cheers & Thanks!
cdavid

The Ephemera of Love | Winterthur Museum & Library Blog

Vintage Mechanical Valentine

Hoping we love each other as much today as on any other day of the year.
Here’s an article from the Wintherthur Museum in Delaware on the Ephemera of love:

The Ephemera of Love | Winterthur Museum & Library Blog.

The Winterthur Museum houses one of the finest collections of American Ephemera,
The John and Carolyn Grossman Collection

This world-class collection contains some 250,000 items that visually documents life in America from 1820 to 1920, The John and Carolyn Grossman Collection is now housed in the Winterthur Library.

Enjoy!
cdavid

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.
Enjoy!

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 http://www.worthpoint.com

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

archives Postcard2

Archives+Postcard-Inside

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

Important Upcoming Auction The Maude Ballou Papers: Martin Luther King’s Handwritten Notes, Writings And Correspondence Among Important Civil Rights Era History

20130918-141610.jpgMartin Luther King, Jr., Autograph Letter Twice Signed.

An unprecedented trove of material relating to the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the most famous and influential name in America’s storied Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 1960s — including King’s handwritten notes on eight cards containing the outline of his famed “Dexter Avenue Church Farewell Address,” circa 1960 — will be offered on Oct. 17 as part of Heritage Auctions’ Signature® Historical Manuscripts event in New York.

The material, more than 100 artifacts in all, are coming to auction after more than half a century in the loving possession of 87-year-old Maude Ballou, Martin Luther King Jr.’s close friend and personal secretary.

“The Ballou material provides a ground-level perspective of the civil rights struggle,” says Sandra Palomino, Director of Historical Manuscripts at Heritage Auctions. “The collection brings to light the courage and strength of all its participants. This material, available for the very first time, is unprecedented and illustrates the role of the church and the Reverend King’s leadership.”

20130918-142356.jpg
[Martin Luther King, Jr.]. Final Page of the Original “I Have a Dream” Speech with Original Transmittal Note Dated Two Months Before Dr. King’s Death.

As a child growing up in the South during the 1960s, Howard Ballou, Maude’s son, was privileged to witness history. He was just a boy at the dawn of the Civil Rights Movement.
“When Dr. King was elected to lead the Montgomery Improvement Association, which led to the Montgomery bus boycott, he asked mom to come work with him,” said Howard, 59, a TV news anchor in Jackson, Miss. “She was working at the time for a local radio station. She had a business degree from Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA. She was a great organizer. She got things done. Of course, this was the boycott that changed the world.”

Maude Ballou later helped Dr. King establish his office at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Mrs. Ballou moved with King to Atlanta, living with the King family for several months, ensuring a smooth transition before King had time to hire a new secretary.

As King’s secretary, Ballou handled his schedule, wrote letters on his behalf, and received correspondence from King and other civil rights leaders.

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“Maude Ballou communicated with all the great leaders of the day,” said Palomino. “Rosa Parks, Adam Clayton Powell, Ralph Abernethy, Wyatt Tee Walker, you name it. She worked closely with Dr. King in all of his writing and editing.”

“These are treasures from my mom’s years at the beginning of the civil rights movement,” said Howard. “My mother has finally decided that, after half a century safeguarding this material, and Dr. King’s legacy, she wants to share these items with the public. It’s time for them to be appreciated by others as much as we’ve appreciated them.”

Heritage Auctions will be donating a portion of its proceeds from the auction of The Ballou Papers to Alabama State University.

Passport Collector’s Paradise

Passport collector
web-Polish-Passport-1932-40

For those interested in collecting passports and travel documents this is the site for you:
www.Passport-Collector.com

Started by a passionate passport collector in 2005, this site is a great resource for buying and selling passprots and travel documents. Complete with a comprehensive database of travel documents, you will find tons of great info on this Ephemera niche.

Enjoy!

Preserving Ephemera

Ran across this article which has some great advice about preservation and storage of your ephemera collection. Be sure to check out the link at the bottom of the post for a free eBook on ephemera preservation. Happy treasure hunting.

Most ephemera can be effectively handled by putting them in inexpensive polypropylene sheet protectors, and keeping these in a binder. The two clear sides of the protectors allow viewing of the items without destructive handling. Typically newspapers would have the relevant item cut out (either including the newspaper name, date, and page from the same sheet, or with that information noted on the retained item). Most items will fit into letter-sized protectors, but some may need some larger format.

Digital preservation is important, since the information can be better preserved and shared by having multiple backup and distributed copies. Flatbed scanners are usually the tool of choice to generate the images. 300 dpi (dots per inch) scan resolution is a good rule of thumb, although it may be more than needed for newspaper-like items. I like to name each scan file with the year, person and short subject indication. For cataloging, I usually rely on the descriptive filenames, which can be viewed and searched via the computer’s normal mechanisms. For a few kinds of items for which it seems important, I make text files with greater detail about the contents.

DON’T use the cheap plastic envelopes to keep your original paper records in. The chemicals in them destroy the contents over time. Use proper archive quality plastic envelopes if you wish to keep them in good order for future generations. – Colin Mar 20 at 7:26

I would start by investing in some (archival-quality) plastic binder pockets. For digital storage, a small flatbed scanner will get a better image, but a digital camera is also fine for recording a digital copy. Try to organize as you go (slip an article into the plastic, scan/photograph it, and then record any additional notes about it), although I would prioritize physical organization if you’re finding it overwhelming or you’re facing a time constraint.

The great thing about using binder pockets (assuming things will fit in them) is that it’s simple to:

1. take the binder to a family reunion and let everybody page through it

2. drastically reduce the possibility of damaging something while reading

3. take the collection to a library or other archive to look up vital records

4. reorganize the order

5. group by event (wedding, death, birth, etc.)

6. group pieces by family

7. group pieces by generation

8. or change your mind halfway through and switch your organization around!

Try to include your grandmother or other older relatives in the preservation process as much as possible — hopefully they will be thrilled that you’re excited about your family history and want to share all sorts of stories about the newspaper articles, photographs, etc. (Ironically, this makes the job of “family historian” harder, since you not only need to preserve the physical object, but also organize associated stories — but it is so, so worthwhile. The number of details and even new family relationships that I learned about when reading through newspaper articles with my grandmother was astounding.)

Ephemera comes in all shapes and sizes. Check out The Heirloom Registry to preserve the stories attached to ephemera found around the house. The online registry allows users to preserve and share the stories behind family heirlooms and precious belongings. You can see the Heirloom Registry sticker on the bottom of my teacup in this picture.

As another person mentioned, digital records, as simple as taking an image with your cell phone, are a good way to capture the information. I have done this with great success in photographing an old scrapbook full of newspaper clippings my grandfather made. I can zoom in and read all the text in the article clippings. The challenge with this is HOW DO YOU ADD CONTEXT AND METADATA TO A DIGITAL FILE? And therein lays the crux of your question. I would suggest that you do as the archivists would do. Assign each piece of ephemera it’s own unique identifier (number) and then in a separate document (notebook, text file or database) record the number and then all the contextual information you know about it. Like “Grandma clipped this out of the Washington Post when Aunt Mabel died” or “Cousin Grace gave Grandma this muffin recipe in 1960 – Grandma made it once, but thought it had too much baking soda, so she adjusted the recipe. She said it was Grandpa’s favorite :)”

I’ve been scanning the family photo albums and doing some acid-free repair as I go. I have a high quality flatbed scanner and have done the photos separately (both sides if there’s anything on the reverse) and transcribed any writing on the photo, photo back or page captions into the jpeg files information.

Then I set up a camera and photograph the entire album page with all photos on it. Context can be important.

After I have a set done, I put the photos up on a photoshare site (SmugMug in my case) in a private gallery so I can share them out and have an online backup of the information.

My next project is all the stories my grandmother handwrote to my siblings and I when we were children relating her growing up in Texas and New Mexico during the great depression. They are priceless to all our family.

There is now a free eBook in PDF format available from here all about preservation of records that is well worth downloading and reading imho.

Free Ebook about ephemera preservation:
http://www.digitalpreservation.gov/documents/ebookpdf_march18.pdf