Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Bookplate, c. 1940s

A bookplate with literary references. I recognize Alice in Wonderland, Pinocchio, Robin Hood, a Knight of the Round Table, but the pirate, dragon and mouse have me stumped...

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Hope and Lamour paper dolls, c. 1940s

On the road to the Oscars. I still remember when Hope was the host for the awards show. He usually hit the mark.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Delong's Button Kit, c. 1905

 This week's Sepia Saturday theme of shoes got me thinking about these buttons I found at an estate sale long ago.  I immediately thought of high button shoes when I first saw this card. Wenck & Co. N.Y. Sole Manufacturers name listed just above the row of buttons is my only supporting clue.  That's my guess on the date.

Carmen Miranda's shoes

1944 photo, from the book, "Vintage Shoes," by Caroline Cox, 2008, Collins Design. Carmen Miranda's wedges and fruit-piled turban gave height to the petite entertainer. But of course her talent was out-sized. I have a CD of her music, recorded in her early radio career in Brazil, and her charm and verve shine through.  You can listen to "Alo Alo" from 1933 here.

Carmen Miranda took the U.S. by storm with her sexy sambas and animated vocalizing in the 1940s, and she made a number of movies in Hollywood ("Down Argentine Way," "The Gang's All Here," "Copacabana.").

The wedge shoes she inspired other women to try are a hallmark of 1940s fashion, and the style was a big hit when it was revived for my generation in the 1970s.  She also popularized fruit motifs in costume jewelry.

You can see Miranda's tall silver wedges peeking out from under her gown in this film clip from "Down Argentine Way (1940):

The way Miranda layered multiple outsized necklaces and bracelets is a style that a few fashion forward women pull off today. 

Tap on over to Sepia Saturday for more fancy footwork; click below.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Jeanette MacDonald and Grace Kelly

2011 convention souvenir, dolls by Gregg Nystrom, outfits illustrated by David Wolfe. A delightful combination.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Barbara Stanwyck paper dolls by Marilyn Henry

1995, Shackman, out of print, larger size book measures about 10 x 12 inches. Marilyn Henry's love of movies, sharp eye and knowledge of costume come through in her fine illustrations of our favorite old-time movie stars.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Halle Berry paper dolls by Bruce Patrick Jones

Just one of "16 sexy stars packin' heat" in "Action Stars," a 2010 paper doll book by Bruce Patrick Jones. Available from Dover Publications. Included: Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, and Hugh Jackman. Bruce is a phenomenal artist, and his intelligence and wit shine through in all kinds of details.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Movie Star paper dolls

Rudolph Valentino by Tom Tierney,  1979.  Tom was a fashion illustrator when he put together a book of paper dolls for his mother featuring stars from the 1930s. It was a hit with her and others who saw it--including a literary agent. And so in 1976  "Thirty from the '30's" was published by Prentice-Hall for a wider audience. A star was born! And the King of the Paper Dolls was on his way. Soon Dover Publications came calling, and they have published his books ever since.

Regarding "Thirty from the 30's": The art was black and white, another tribute to the era, and Tom scattered trivia questions throughout. If you see this oversized book anywhere, grab it. Highly collectible, hard to find.

 Marie Dressler, just one of the stars in the book. You'll also find Cary Grant, Fay Wray, Tyrone Power, Jeanette MacDonald, Fred Astaire, Anna May Wong...

For Valentine's Day, my husband bought me Tom's latest, "Life's a Drag!" a tribute to the cross-dressing stars of film and TV, everyone from Kate Hepburn to Ru Paul!

You can read more about Tom Tierney and his paper dolls, on his web site .
Dover has a full line of Tom Tierney books, of course. And you can find many other classic movie star paper dolls at Paper Studio Press.

Tom Tierney has inspired many others. Ralph Hodgdon, Gregg Nystrom, Marilyn Henry, David Wolfe, Brenda Mattox, Jim Howard, Sandy Vanderpool and Norma Lu Meehan are just a few of the current artists who study classic films and bring the stars and their costumes to life via paper dolls. I'll post more of their work in the days leading up to the Academy Awards.

Joan Crawford by Gregg Nystrom

Also highly collectible but hard to find are the movie star paper dolls that appeared during the stars' heyday. The movies of many of these stars are lost to us, and their names are only faintly remembered.

UPDATE: Lila Lee may not be well known to most people, but here's a strange coincidence: She starred opposite Valentino and Nita Naldi (see above) in Blood and Sand. But more fantastically, she had a son, James Kirkwood Jr., (his father, Sr., was also a silent film star). Young Kirkwood wrote the play, A Chorus Line, for which he was awarded the Tony and the Pulitzer Prize in 1976. That is some fantastic show biz legacy. Also, Jr.  wrote books that I read in high school (Good Times/Bad Times, There Must Be a Pony) that I will have to revisit. What would we do without Wikipedia?

UPDATE: Helen Mack was Molly Malloy in His Girl Friday. One of my favorite movies. Once again, Wikipedia sets me straight.

Other stars have endured...no Wikipedia research necessary for the Garbo.

The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center has an excellent exhibit up, now extended through March 10, about film promotion in the silent era. Here's the front page of the exhibit brochure, actually a broadsheet.

Here's a video preview of the exhibit:

For more fabulous flickers, click the logo below. The gentleman pointing the way is a young Claude Rains!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Mary Martin paper doll, c. 1944/Convention update

I can't think of a better emissary for news about the 2012 paper doll convention (Aug. 9-12 in Dayton, Ohio) than Mary Martin, a classic Broadway star of the 1940s-1950s. Mary Young, Peggy Ell and Louise Leek are organizing this year's event. All three are collectors with deep knowledge about the history and production of paper toys in books, newspapers, magazines and greeting cards. And of course Mary Young has written the definitive identification and price guides to the vintage paper dolls we love.

Garth Lax has started up his email blasts about the convention city, Dayton, Ohio. I'm playing catch up, but will do my best to post them all before the convention.  Scroll to the bottom for the convention registration form, or simply hit the Convention 2012 logo on the left side of your screen.

Thank you, Garth, for your excellent work pulling together this information!

                              COME  FLY  WITH  US !
                                       Email #2
Antique venues in the Dayton area tend to be clustered, and three of
the clusters hold the most promise for the avid antiquer. Let's see.
20 or so miles to the east of your Convention Hotel are three large
Antique Malls that are quite close to each other and present
excellent opportunities for the acquisition of treasures.
    AAA I-70 Antique Mall at 4700 South Charleston Pike, Springfield,
    Ohio 45502 has over 200 Dealers in a 32,000 square foot building.
    They generally have Paper Dolls, Dolls, paper ephemera, toys,
    vintage clothing, glassware, books, porcelain, and much more.
    They're open 10 AM to 6 PM every day except three Holidays.
    Their telephone number is (937) 324-8448. 
    Springfield Antique Center at 1735 Titus Road, Springfield, Ohio
    45502 has about 350 Dealers with a wide variety of antiques.
    They're open 10 AM to 6 PM seven days per week.
    Their telephone number is (937) 322-8868.
    Heart of Ohio Antique Center at 4785 East National Road,
    Springfield 45505 is a huge building, with over 650 Dealers
    in a display space of 116,000 square feet. If you get hungry,
    they have a cafe that serves deli sandwiches, soups, salads,
    and beverages with tables inside or on an outside patio.
    They're open 9:30 AM to 6 PM every day except three Holidays.
    Their telephone number is (937) 324-2188.
    To get to these three, you drive from the Convention Hotel out
    to the main road, Ohio 444. Turn left and go northeast on OH-444
    to I-675. Take I-675 north to Exit 26A (I-70 East).
    Drive east on I-70 for 15 miles to Exit 59 (Route 41, Charleston Pike)
    Turn right on the Charleston Pike. AAA I-70 is right across the road.
    For the Springfield Antique Center, after you turn right onto the
    Charleston Pike, go just past the AAA I-70 to Titus Road on
    your left. Follow Titus Road to the Springfield Antique Center
    (it's just behind the AAA I-70 Antique Center).
    These two Antique Malls are about 21 miles (23 minutes) from
    your Convention Hotel.
    For Heart of Ohio, get back on I-70 go 3 miles farther east and take
    Exit 62 (US 40/Springfield), At US 40, turn left and go under I-70.
    Heart of Ohio Antique Center is across the road on your left.
    The entrance is just beyond the building.
    From the Hotel, Heart of Ohio is a 24 mile drive (27 minutes).
Other than at one of the giant antique shows, I doubt that you'll
find so many antique Dealers and such a quantity of merchandise
anywhere else!!
Tipp City is a small municipality about 13 miles north of Dayton,
which has a reputation as an antiquing center. I won't try to list
every shop, but I'll tell you about four right on or near Main Street.
   Midwest Memories at 20 West Main Street, Tipp City 45371,
   has a number of dealers in a 10,000 square foot facility.
   They do have Dolls, plus a lady who does Doll repairs,
   paper ephemera, and primitives among their general antiques.
   They're open Monday-Saturday 10 AM to 5 PM,  Sunday 1 to 4 PM.
   Their telephone number is (937) 669-0316.
   Benkin Antique Gallery at 14 East Main Street in Tipp City 45371
   has 40 Dealers. They have no paper dolls at the moment, and no
   Dealers that specialize in Dolls. They do have Dolls scattered
   among the Dealers, some paper ephemera, a Postcard dealer,
   cut glass, plus general antiques. Their second floor has a lovely
   Fine Arts Gallery with works of watercolor, oil, photography, and 3D.
   Open Tuesday - Saturday, 10 AM - 5 PM; Sunday 1 PM - 5 PM.
   Their telephone number is (937) 667-5526.
   Past Perfect is at 126 East Main Street in Tipp City 45371.
   It has a true eclectic mix of vintage and antique items - -
   glassware, Christmas material, pictures, frames, pottery,
   china, figurines, I spotted some Kewpies, wall decorations,
   all sorts of items, tastefully presented.
   Open Monday 10 AM - 3 PM, Tuesday-Saturday 10 AM-5PM,
   and Sunday 10 AM - 2 PM. Telephone (937) 667-7887.
   Patriot Antique Shoppe is at 15 North 2nd Street in Tipp City.
   Its focus is on items produced prior to 1850. While it is unlikely
   to have Paper Dolls of that era, it does have (3-dimensional) Dolls,
   old furniture (Windsor Chairs, etc.), pewter, red ware, glassware,
   old bottles, tinware, wood ware, household implements in wood and
   iron, baskets, pictures, etc. 
   It's open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday 11 AM - 5 PM, and
   Sunday 1 to 5 PM. Telephone number is (937) 667-1243.
To get to Tipp City from the Convention Hotel, Turn left on Ohio-444 and
follow OH-444 to I-675. Take I-675 north to Exit 26B (I-70 West toward
Indianapolis). Stay on I-70 West for 10 miles, then take Exit 33 onto
I-75 North toward Toledo.
Follow I-75 North for almost 7 miles to Exit 68 (Tipp City).
At the end of the ramp, turn right onto Ohio-571 (West Main Street),
Total distance is about 23 miles or 30 minutes.
Waynesville is a small rural community south of Dayton that has a
significant number of Antique establishments on and near Main Street.
In fact, nearly every other building seems to be an Antique emporium.
I'll tell you of just a few to give you the flavor.
One caveat - - most of the Antique establishments in Waynesville
are closed on Mondays.
   Lilly's Corner Mall is at 109 South Main Street, Waynesville 45068.
   Lilly's has a number of Dealers and 26 booths, The merchandise
   is nicely displayed.
   Lilly's also has "Lilly's Cafe" in case you get hungry.
   Lilly's is open Tuesday - Sunday 11 AM to 5 PM,
   The telephone number is (513) 897-0388.
   Evansville Antique Mall at 69 South Main Street, has 50 Dealers
   offering a variety of antiques including toys and jewelry.
   They're open 11 AM to 5 PM every day, Sunday through Saturday.
   Telephone number is (513) 897-8955. 
   C&R Living Antiques at 180 South Main Street in Waynesville 45068
   specializes in difficult-to-find or "one-of-a-kind" items such as
   sculptures both new and old, precious and semi-precious gemstones
   mounted, vintage Murano glass, etc. They have little in the Paper Doll,
   Doll, and paper ephemera categories.
   C&R is open Monday-Saturday 11 AM - 5 PM; Sunday Noon to 5 PM.
   The telephone number is (513) 897-0431.
   Little Red Shed Antiques at 85 South Main Street in Waynesville
   has general antiques, including Paperdolls and Dolls.
   They're open Tuesday - Sunday 11 AM to 5 PM.
   Their telephone number is (513) 897-6326.
   Elizabeth's Vintage House and Gary's Antiques is at 98 South Main
   Street in Waynesville. In one section it has some very nice
   furniture; in another it has general antiques and collectibles.
   They're open Tuesday - Sunday 11 AM to 5 PM.
   Telephone number is  (513) 897-0451.
   Dora's Place is at 234 High Street in Waynesville.
   It has china, glass, pottery, general antiques, and some dolls.
   It's open Tuesday - Sunday 10 AM - 5 PM.
   No telephone listing.
   To drive to Waynesville from the Hotel, turn right on Ohio-444,
   drive 1/2 mile, and take the ramp onto Ohio-844 South toward
   Wright State University. After a mile, take the ramp onto
   I-675 South toward Cincinnati.
   After 17 miles on I-675 South, take I-75 South toward Cincinnati.
   After 5 miles take Exit 38. At the end of the ramp, turn left on Ohio-73
   toward Springboro. Stay on Ohio-73 for 9 miles until you arrive at
   US 42. Turn left onto US 42 (Main Street in Waynesville).
   Drive two blocks to North Street, turn left, and the second street will
   be South Main Street to your left and North Main Street to your right.
   The trip in total will be roughly 30 miles or 36 minutes.
   [Returning to the Hotel, just retrace your steps, but on I-675, take
   Exit 20 ("Dayton-Yellow Springs Road"), turn left at the end of the
   ramp, and follow Yellow Springs Road to Ohio-444. Turn left onto
   Ohio-444. At the next traffic light, you're back at the entrance to the
   Hotel, on your right.]
[Last year, even though we contacted the featured Antique shops and
 areas, a couple of choice ones decided (just before the Convention)
 to change their days and hours of operation, and one key one
 went out of business suddenly. So - - this year, we'll continue to
 contact them, but we'll provide you with their telephone numbers so
 that you can verify days and hours before driving to the venues.]
By the way, if you're going to go Antiquing for Paper Dolls, you're
going to want to bring the three major pricing guides - -
the Lowe/Whitman, the Saalfield/Merrill, and 20th Century (for all
the smaller US publishers). All three are by Mary Young. Remember
that many Dealers have no clue as to the market value of Paper Dolls
and it's very useful to be able to recognize a bargain as well as to
know when an item is priced waayy too high. Since paper doll
prices have remained somewhat stable for the past few years,
each of the three publications is a valuable resource. So bring them
if you have them, and if you don't have them, try to get them.
Everything considered, if you can visit only one area, I'd suggest those
three big Malls in Springfield - - very large selections, very diverse
selections, and the highest probability of finding Paper Dolls.
I'll be back in three weeks to tell you of some great Art Museums!! 
- - Garth
                               August 9 - 12, 2012
                Hope Hotel, Wright-Paterson Air Force Base                             
                                   Dayton,  Ohio                                                                     
                          CONVENTION REGISTRATION
CITY_______________________STATE_______ ZIP/PC__________
Registration:  $185.00 USD 
Absentee Registration:  $75.00 USD
  (Absentee Registrations are limited in number.)
Guest Registration (3 Meals) $85.00
  GUEST NAME:__________________________________________
Make Checks payable to:  Louise Leek 
Mail to:
Mary Young
P.O. Box 9244
Dayton,  OH    45409

Monday, February 13, 2012

Broadcasting valentine, c. 1926

Another mechanical valentine. The eyes move from one side to the other when you tap her curls--note the brad in the middle of her hair ribbon.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Valentine gate, c. 1920s

Signed in pencil on the back, "From Peggy Lee." Die-cut, printed in Germany, and has a little stand in the back so it could be propped up on a desk or shelf.

A "brick" valentine, 1925

An excellent die-cut valentine that you flip over for the message. From Lois to Curtis, 1925.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Secret valentine, c. 1930s

Look in the mirror
and you will see
The only one in the
world for me.

Wilbur from who???
4, 23, 23
stands for letters
of Alphabet.

Hmmm, DWW?

Mark: Whitney Made, Worcester, Mass. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Book tag

I'm enchanted with little books, handmade books, old books, new books. Someday I am sure I will love big books with large-type. I made this book tag from a tag that came on a new camel hair coat I bought a few years ago. The scrap above is from a new catalog; below are copies of vintage scrap found on the web and in Somerset Studio Magazine. The butterfly is real vintage scrap.

I love small bookstores with cats. I miss the Gotham Book Mart, which I wrote about here.

Did you know the Poets House is a library and reading room in lower Manhattan? You can read about it here.

Below is a photo postcard from the old Poets House on Spring Street, 2005:

Quite a suit on that browsing fellow. Some poetry is in order:

If you love poetry, check out the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival.

I just finished reading "Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity," nonfiction by Katherine Boo. It is solid journalism but also a kind of poetry and I highly recommend it.

I look forward to playing tag with other book lovers at Sepia Saturday. Click  logo to see more.