Ephemera 23 Auction
Since its founding in 1980, the Ephemera Society
has held auctions whose proceeds have funded our many and various
programs. Last year at Ephemera 22, the society's annual conference
and fair, the benefit auction raised more than $6,000.
Saturday, March 15, 2003, at 8:00 PM at Ephemera 23, the society
will again conduct an auction and all income derived from sales
will underwrite the organization's educational programs. The auctioneer
will be Gary Garland from Swann Galleries.
Growing from 52 lots in 2002, this year's auction
includes 163 lots of items, all having been generously donated
by society members.
Lot number 1 is a wonderful way to begin the festivities.
Not a piece of paper ephemera, but rather a guided tour, auction
participants will have an opportunity to win a tour for four through
the Carnegie Hall archives in New York City. Archivist Gino Francesconi,
who single-handedly built the collection that he oversees, will
conduct a behind the scenes look, as well as offering commentary
about the items on display at the Rose Museum, the hall's gallery
Bidders who are interested in the history of Carnegie
Hall should also be drawn to lot 23, two tickets to a forthcoming
concert at Carnegie Hall. Ticket choices will be subject to availability.
The earliest item of ephemera open to bids is a
17th century copperplate engraved print of Native Americans by
de Bry; it is offered together with an issue of one of the earliest
magazines published in American colonial times, The Christian
History, from Boston, dated December 3, 1743.
More recent 20th century items include scarce photo
cards of 39 Russian cosmonauts, President Carter's inauguration
program from 1977, a lot of ten items relating to Punch magazine,
and a stylistically creative 1964 ski poster for Jay Peak in Vermont.
The famous are represented: checks and a letter
from Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, a 1908 autograph book from the
United States Senate, and autographs of FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover,
military figure Gen. Mark Clark, baseball player Stan Musial,
and actor Lloyd Bridges.
A ledger records four year's worth of expenses incurred
by Jacob F. Kreps as a cadet at the US Military Academy, West
Point, class of 1883. A map of Polynesia from 1873, published
by Edward Stanford, Charing Cross, London, is printed in black
with highlights in yellow and red, the waters beautifully shaded
in blue. More than 1,100 cigar bands in two loose-leaf notebooks
comprise another lot; most of the bands are of conventional size,
but two large ones are of special interest, showing as they do
multi-colored head portraits of striking young women. There is
a bibliography in two volumes, Shaker Literature, by Mary Richmond,
Published by Hancock Shaker Village in 1977. And another special
lot consists of a lot of 14 Oriental paintings on rice paper chiefly
Collectors of nineteenth century lithography should
be especially interested in two lots. Charles Magnus, an enterprising
and most prolific publisher of games, stationery, landscapes,
and cityscapes is represented by a sheet of Central Park, New
York scenery, including 16 oval depictions in shades of blue,
green, and black, all on a cherry red background. The firm of
Currier & Ives, well known for its romanticized views of American
life, is represented by two trade cards. "The Trotting King"
advertises C.C. Warren, Waterbury, Vt., maker of harness and rein
leathers, and "Trotter Trinket" advertises Vulcan horseshoe
nails, said to have had no equal.
Not all of the items being offered for auction are
paper ephemera. Forty-two magic lantern glass slides from the
early 20th century stored in a wooden container illustrate China,
Bangkok, Gibraltar, Pompeii, Egypt, and other worldwide locations.
There is a nicely illustrated silk of George Washington accompanied
by a manuscript which dates the silk to 1814. And there is a wooden
cigar box with a colored pictorial label inside its lid of a scene
in Syracuse, NY, showing the Erie Canal, a trolley, several early
automobiles, and the Gridley Building.
Rounding out the auction are valentines and other
greeting cards, stereo cards, calling cards, scrapbooks, prints,
advertisements, real photo postcards, and other items that ephemerists
have come to value.
Members of the Ephemera Society received a 36-page
illustrated catalog of the auction in early February with instructions
for submitting bids by mail, preview dates and times, and further
Join us for the auction on March 15, 2003 at Ephemera
23. We are gathering once again at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in
Greenwich, Ct., located just minutes from I95 and close to the
town's train station.
E. Richard McKinstry