Ephemera articles and stories that will
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Dressmakers’ Tools

by Richard Sheaff
I recently came across a stunning example of Victorian “Artistic” decoration, on a dressmaker’s square, a 15-inch wide tool. It was registered in 1884 by B. C. Noel, and called “The Parisian Square”. As so often happens in the world of ephemera, this object opened new doors to me, and…

The Roycrofters – The Roots of Protest?

by John G. Sayers
Ephemera Detective Were 20th Century art and antiques the expressions of protest – with Arts & Crafts representing a revulsion to the elaborate styles of the late 19th Century, and Art Deco representing a level of protest elevated even further? A publication purchased recently at a local Public Library Book…

A Woman and Her Bird

by Richard Sheaff
One thing I find interesting to look for is various different usages of the same “mortised stock cut”. Stock cuts were designs on type-high metal sold by type foundries such as MacKellar Smiths and Jordan of Philadelphia; “mortised” refers to an area left blank where individual printers would insert the…

Demonizing Our WWII Enemies

by Richard Sheaff
The world of printed ephemera reveals something interesting: WWII was the last American war in which demonizing the enemy was widely practiced, popular and totally acceptable in ways that would be politically unacceptable today. Exceptions can, of course, be found, but such blatantly vicious imagery was not widespread during the…

Modern Victorian

by Richard Sheaff
Much to the delight of we collectors of vintage paper and design, an increasing number of designers, artists, and craftspeople today work in a retro-influenced way. Amongst the finest are Torquay England’s David Smith and Abilene Texas’s gun engraver Otto Carter. The craftsmanship of artists such as these is likely…