Wednesday, March 31, 2010


I had to say goodbye to a dear friend today.
So this is for Midnight, one very loving cat. We'll miss her very much.


Painting Easter Eggs

A vintage scrap, c. 1880s, cut out in a nearly perfect egg shape. This might have been a trade card, or a page from a catalog; the back describes Diamond Silver Paint, Diamond Bronze Paint and Diamond Artist's Black. 

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tom Tierney on NPR

Thanks to Dee Radcliffe in Oahu for alerting us to a Tom Tierney interview on NPR. I look forward to hearing about the Texas party.  Above, Tom at last year's convention in Las Vegas, surround by Lorna Currie Thomopoulos, Jan McKay, Jim Howard and George Thomopoulos.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Lux soap ads, 1917-1918

Ladies' Home Journal. Yes, another Duke Digital special, this time for Lux soap flakes. The vivid colors and patterns in this ad are delightful. Don't forget to click on the picture for a larger image.
Easy on silk, no rubbing, but you do have a maid, don't you, to handle this little task?

There are many more Lux ads with glorious colors to see at the Duke site, including a June 1917 illustration that was cut out and glued into Ruth Slifer's little scrapbook:

Could these Lux illustrations be the work of Gertrude A. Kay, who did the Pudding Lane cut-outs for Ladies' Home Journal?

And still more Lux:
April 1917.

August 1918.

My schedule at home and work is crazy mad right now, so I'll be posting every other day at best. Hope you'll stick around. I enjoy doing this. Meanwhile, I have another load of laundry to do before the day ends...

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Zenith TV ad, 1951

From Look Magazine, March 27, 1951, courtesy of the Duke Digital Archive. Bonus: a Jo Copeland dress is featured. It's a "Black Magic" original.

The ad is also notable for the way it engages the new technology of television, and tells us it is acceptable to socialize around the little screen at a dinner party. I would put this Zenith ad in the "aspirational" category--it's counting on us identifying with these glamorous men and women, and wanting what they have.

It's easy to deconstruct old advertisements, which seem obvious to us now. But today, it's more important than ever to step back and examine ads in glossy magazines, which appeal to us in so many subtle ways. What's behind the sell? What does the ad man want us to think about ourselves; how is he flattering us?
To read more about Jo Copeland, I highly recommend "Mommy Dressing: A Love Story, After a Fashion," by Copeland's daughter, Lois Gould. Heartbreaking. 

Friday, March 26, 2010

Toy Town

Toy Shop from the "Toy Town" series of postcard cut-outs and pantins. No year, but if I had to hazard a guess, I'd say it dates from the era of the first World War, say 1916 or thereabouts. Most of the artwork in the series is signed Geo. Piper; the toy shop has no signature. Copyright: W.E. Mack, Hampstead, N.W.3. Marked No. 025; the card indicates card 025A has the roof and companion figures. (Just checked eBay, and it looks like 025A is for sale, and it is signed by the artist going by the name of Ellam. So this might be the work of Ellam, too.)
This is the kind of card you wouldn't want to send through the mail! But just think of the lucky recipients, many of whom no doubt reached automatically for the scissors.

I have two other Toy Town cards, Peter Pan and A Sailor, posted on my first blog two years ago:

Here are other Toy Town postcard image grabs from around the internet, mostly eBay:

Check out The Best Hearts Are Crunchy for more vintage postcards, including a quite beautiful post today. And thanks to Beth for hosting Postcard Friendship Friday.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

More Dainty Dolls for Tiny Tots



 Debbie and Bobby

Love finding scraps and remnants of other sets. These were in the same box as Dainty Dolls. I recognize  Queen Holden artwork, and the tiny dresses were part of a Children's Playmate paper doll. The Scottie and watering can are from the child star Carolyn Lee's set, I believe.

And this was folded inside, too: Blondie's Comic Figures. Wonderfully surreal!

Names and grades were written on the back. A record of a little girl's friends? Or her made up world of paper dolls? Some of the names coincide with the ones scrawled on the back of the dolls.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Dainty Dolls for Tiny Tots, 1946

Inside that box of small treasures found in Red Bank:  A well-played with set by Saalfield (page 41 of Mary Young's Saalfield and Merrill guide--it's the Tomart book with the green cover). No doubt incomplete. The little girl who owned this set wrote names in crayon on the back. Above, Elizabeth. 




more tomorrow

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Teen Time, c. 1956

Whitman. One of the first sets I bought on eBay, about 8 years ago. Sweet.

The clothing reminds me of what Peggy wears in "Mad Men," at least in the early episodes.

Monday, March 22, 2010

A box of small treasures

A good day in Red Bank's antiques district yesterday. Found this box on a table...

...filled with small paper treasures. It will take me awhile to sort and scan, but hope to post later this week.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Harmless Little Girl, 1896

Sheet music for a song from "The Lady Slavey," performed at the Casino, N.Y. Archie Gunn is the artist. This was distributed as a supplement to The New York Journal, April 26, 1896. The plot revolves around a Major who wants to marry one of his four daughters to an American millionaire, who falls for the wrong daughter--a fifth one who the American thinks is a maid, a role she has taken to help her father out. Marie Dressler has a role as "a flighty music hall singer." All of this background can be found in the preview of the stage show that ran in the NY Times, February 2, 1896 (the Times vast archive is available to subscribers free). The play was a German farce adapted for English audiences and had a successful run in London prior to New York.

From the ever fabulous Duke Digital Archive.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sunshine Award

Thanks to Deborah at the Vintage Postcard Gallery for recognizing The Paper Collector with a Sunshine Award!

Now I get to bestow the Sunshine Award on:

Marges8's Blog --Marge has a terrific collection of greeting cards and old paper dolls, and offers easy craft tutorials. Look forward to seeing her at the Kansas City convention in July.

Art Everyday By Sylvia -- I love to see what Sylvia is up to in her art, whether it's collage, painting or photography. Sylvia will also be in KC this year. A reminder to me that art everyday, whether painting or writing, is the path to mastery. 

Muñecas Recortables -- That's paper dolls in Spanish. Marga Lozano has a truly amazing collection. Scroll through her blog for slideshows on various artists. She is knowledgeable about paper doll art from Raphael Tuck to Theresa Borelli and will introduce you to Spanish artists like Maria Pascual. 

Retired in Alaska --Nan is living a dream life in Alaska, and posts some spectacular pictures of life there, in addition to her vintage collection of paper and other things. Check out her Nancy Ann dolls from childhood.

Unlimited Possibilities--inspiration from Linda K. on the creative life and decorating with collectibles. Love to see how she'll arrange that white hutch next, a perfect stage for her vintage postcards and other ephemera.

If you're selected, the rules are simple: post the Sunshine Award emblem on your site, then share the love: Pass the award on to the blogs that bring sunshine to your world, and link to them for your readers to discover.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Pinochet cards

Purchased on my trip to Chile in 1988, these are simple cardboard postcards , printed only on one side, and reflect the gleeful end of a dreadful era. I imagine they were mailed to friends, distributed as handbills or political tracts or simply collected, the way one collects political buttons and other ephemera. Good article about Chile's relationship with military, in the past and post-earthquake, here.

Above, "He lost because he didn't know the Ten Commandments." And in the word balloon: "Thou shalt not kill, thou shall not steal, thou shall not lie"... You get the idea. Pinochet lost the plebiscite that would have given him additional years as military lord over the country.

Top: Goodbye, General, the carnival is  over!" The purgative: the vote "No" on his rule.

Bottom: "He was the only one and he left as the last one." In other words, we don't want to see his like again! Hear, hear.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Kitty Kallen for Halo Shampoo

Usually when a celebrity lends his or her name to a product it doesn't carry a humiliating narrative in comic strip form! I vaguely remember Kitty Kallen, but I also listen to old-time radio on satellite radio, so that's why her name may ring a bell. I like the use of the word "glorifies" here, a corny throwback to the 1920s and  "Glorifying the American Girl."

This 1954 ad is another great find from the Duke Digital Archive.