Ephemera 24 Auction
On Saturday, March 20, 2004, the Ephemera Society
will hold an auction whose proceeds will benefit the organizations
educational programs. It will take place in Greenwich, Connecticut
at the Hyatt Regency Hotel as part of Ephemera 24, the societys
annual conference and fair.
years auction cleared more than $4,000, and we look forward
to topping that amount this time around. Conducted once again
by Gary Garland of Swann Galleries, the auction gives attendees
and mail bidders the chance to build their collections while helping
a worthy cause.
The 2004 auction includes 153 lots, all generously
donated by members. Included are trade cards, posters, autographs,
Valentines, manuscripts, engravings, and many other kinds of paper
Lot number one is a wonderful archive dating from
the Civil War, consisting of letters and documents from and about
Sgt. Luke Warren of the 20th Indiana Light Artillery, and lot number
153 is a handmade paper doll with two costumes, dating from ca.
1860. In between is an assortment of items from many other
time periods and a variety of geographical areas.
Individuals interested in cigar memorabilia will be
drawn to several lots. Number 100 is a chromolithographed
1909 cigar box label showing a portrait of Louis Bleriot, honoring
his 37-minute flight across the English Channel, the first airplane
crossing of this body of water. Lot 120 is an inner label
depicting a butterfly whose body is in the shape of a cigar ("Smoke
Buzzer Cigars"), and the following lot is an Emil Steffens
lithograph from ca. 1898 of two bulldogs playing poker with a cigar
Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus is
represented by a poster by artist Bill Bailey used as a Christmas
and New Years greeting. Dating from 1945, it pictures
pairs and small groups of animals and depicts other components of
a circus, from trapeze artists to parading elephants and prancing
horses. From the 1930s is an original design for a Ringling
poster by Robert Dvorak. A ringmaster directs a menagerie
of entertainers, including a bareback rider, man on stilts, sword
swallower, and a performing seal.
The earliest item from England is an eight-page act
of Parliament printed on December 17, 1652 that authorizes raising
£120,000 to support the maintenance of armed forces in England,
Ireland, and Scotland "and also for the Navy." The
latest item from England, dating from 1964, is a Beatles "Fun
Kit," containing paper versions of what every Beatle fan could
want: a Beatle hat, four posters, homework stickers, pill bottle
labels, a Beatle pet collar, etc.
Advertising ephemera includes an illustrated trade
card from J.S. Freeman & Co., "wholesale and retail dealers
in leather and shoe findings;" an 1890s advertisement from
Heinz shaped like a pickle, showing a girl in a chefs hat
holding a spoonful of baked beans; and two trade cards from Frank
Miller & Sons, New York City, touting the firms "improved
Travel is represented by two lots of "Raymonds
Vacation Excursions" from 1883 and 1884. Raymond traveled
to Colorado and California in 1883 and created an 80 page pamphlet
to record his experiences; one year later he returned to the West
Coast and noted in another journal such things as his daily activities,
what he wore, and guidebooks he found particularly helpful.
Pictorially, there is an illustrated advertisement from the Canadian
National Railways promoting Quebec, a map of Ohio from 1837, a hand
colored photograph of Venices Doges Palace, and a lot
consisting of travel brochures.
Also, the auction offers lots containing 750 matchbook
covers, 95 trade and cigarette cards from pre-World War II Germany,
60+ lottery tickets, six pieces of Abraham Lincoln memorabilia,
a colorful assortment of 36 Reward of Merit cards, 187 boxing cards,
and 50 historical prints and steel engravings.
Members of the Ephemera Society received a 40-page
catalog in early February with instructions for submitting bids
by mail, preview dates and times, and further particulars.
Join us for the auction on March 20 at Ephemera 24.
The Hyatt Regency is conveniently located on Putnam Avenue off Exit
5 of Route I-95, and it is close to Greenwichs train station.
The auction will be in the hotels Roundhill Room at 8:00 PM
following a buffet dinner.
E. Richard McKinstry
[This article originally appeared in the Northeast
Journal of Antiques & Art.]