Thursday, February 28, 2013

Gina by DeJournette, c. 1950

This is one of those "real hair" paper dolls. She measures 12.5 inches. Her clothes are front and back, but the doll is not (except for the back of her woolly head).

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Helen Page

Jan McKay informs me that our beloved Helen Page died Feb. 21.  She was a gifted and generous artist  whose work is prized by collectors.  She had many dear friends in the paper doll collecting world.

Here is a short biography that was distributed at the San Antonio convention in 2007 upon her receipt of the Fanny Gray award:

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Ephemera Fair and Conference, March 15-17

From the Ephemera Society of America:

Plan to join us at the Hyatt Regency in Old Greenwich, Conn., for ESA's annual, three-day conference March 15th to17th, 2013. Cost for the conference is as follows (A separate admission fee of $12 applies to Saturday's and Sunday's paper show):
Members, $50
Non-members, $60
Students with ID, no charge -- First come first serve, space may be limited
Exhibiting dealers, no charge
Rickards Award Dinner $85 ($90 after March 1)

Lodging Information at Hyatt Regency: Group rate is $150 plus tax. Discount Code "ephemera society." Group rate is available online (see link below) but is not guaranteed after March 1, 2013. You can reserve online by visiting:

You can also visit to view other conference brochures for a sampling of what to expect.

Also, take a look at a short documentary about VALUE at Ephemera/31. Collectors and dealers discuss their philosophy on items' worth from many perspectives.

For What It's Worth: Ephemera Collectors and Dealers on Value

Ephemera: Art and Commerce
9 a.m.-5 p.m. -- Board of Directors' meeting, Belle Haven conference room.
6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. -- Board reception for early arrivals. Join old and new friends, and be fresh for the conference that begins Friday morning.
Three morning conference sessions:
Roundhill Room

9:30 a.m.
Graphic Design Before Graphic Designers

David Jury
While some pioneers of printing focused on books, others used their presses for more 'humble' commissions such as handbills, labels, and stationery. These jobbing printers recognized that such work played a vital role in society and sought to secure a more appropriate and higher status. They even dared to believe it might be art. Until, that is, the professional designer decided to "spoil their fun." David Jury is head of MA Art, Design, and the Book at Colchester Institute, UK. He designs, prints and publishes his own limited edition books as proprietor of the Fox Ash Press as well as writing and designing books for mainstream publishers, including Letterpress: The Allure of the Hand Made. His new book, published by Thames and Hudson in 2012, is Graphic Design Before Graphic Designers.
10:15 a.m. -- 10:30 a.m. Break

10:30 a.m.
The High Quality of Much Victorian Design

Dick Sheaff
There exists a large body of Victorian design that is not at all like the overly sentimental, flowery, cherub-filled graphics that seem characteristic of the era. Dick Sheaff will show images of copperplate engraving, steel engraving, letterpress and lithography that demonstrate extraordinary skill in concept and execution. Dick is a retired graphic and communications designer, who designed or art-directed over 500 U.S. postage stamps. Dick has served several terms on the Ephemera Society's board of directors, collects many sorts of ephemera, researches various subjects and writes frequent articles, with a particular interest in design and typography. He also maintains an ephemera-related, non-commercial website (

11:15 a.m. -- 11:30 a.m. Break

11:30 a.m.
Panel discussion: "Lithography vs Steel Engraving
vs Wood Engraving vs Letterpress"

Sally Pierce, Mark Tomasko, Leslie Evans, Doug Clouse -- Moderated by Dick Sheaff
The panel will explore the advantages and disadvantages of different modes of image production in the graphic and artistic styles of various periods, particularly during the Victorian era.

Sally Pierce is a curator emerita, having worked with the print and photograph collection of the Boston Athenaeum for thirty-four years, immersing herself in the visual imagery and cultural history of nineteenth-century New England. She organized numerous thematic exhibitions of Boston lithography and has written extensively on the subject. She retired in 2009 and is now editor of Imprint, the Journal of the American Historical Print Collectors Society.
Mark D. Tomasko is a corporate attorney who continues to build a reference collection on security, or "bank note," engraving. He curated an exhibit on security engraving at The Grolier Club in 1991, and the 200th Anniversary of American Bank Note Company exhibit at the Museum of American Financial History in 1995. He is particularly interested in documenting the picture engravers, vignette artists, and bank note companies, and is one of the few people interested in collecting and researching all periods of the work.

With a degree in printmaking from the Rhode Island School of Design, Leslie Evans brings a printer's aesthetic to illustrating for children's books at her letterpress studio. In addition to relief printmaking, Leslie works in a variety of media including watercolor and digital techniques, providing illustration for publishing, advertising, exhibition, and media clients. Her own projects include calendars, prints and broadsides under her imprint, the Sea Dog Press.
Doug Clouse has written about nineteenth-century typefaces, design, and printing, and is the author of MacKellar, Smiths & Jordan, Typographic Tastemakers of the Late Nineteenth Century, a book about the largest type foundry in America in the nineteenth century. He also co-authored the book The Handy Book of Artistic Printing, which describes a form of ornamental nineteenth-century design.

12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Lunch Break

Three afternoon conference sessions:
Roundhill Room

2:00 p.m.
From Art to Ephemera and Back Again

David Rosand
At least since the fifteenth century, printed images, woodcuts in particular, were conceived and produced for large audiences. Although often designed by major artists, these graphic images were generally cheap and served practical functions. An image of St. Christopher, for example, might be sewn into the garment of a pilgrim to assure safe travel; other woodcuts might be pasted on furniture. What might have been an edition of many hundred sheets could now be a single preserved example -- a rarity never intended to be, but now treasured as a work of art. David Rosand is Meyer Schapiro Professor Emeritus of Art History at Columbia University, where he has taught since 1964. His main areas of research are Renaissance painting and the graphic arts, in which fields his books include: the exhibition catalogue Titian and the Venetian Woodcut; Painting in Sixteenth-Century Venice: Titian, Veronese, Tintoretto; Drawing Acts: Studies in Graphic Expression and Representation.
2:45 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Break

3:00 p.m.
The Playful Victorian Eye: Historical Precedents in Worldwide Ar
Tamar Zimmerman
During the latter part of the 19th century, new ideas and images found their way into the American mainstream as a result of immigration, a proliferation of national exhibitions, and greater access to printed materials.  Among these were optical "tricks" that teased the mind. This will be a brief look at the use of these whimsical and sometimes challenging images on trade cards and an attempt to trace some of their historical precedents. Tamar Zimmerman has been collecting trade cards, Victorian children's books, paper toys and mechanical cards for over 20 years.  Her collections have influenced her own artwork, which includes the design of paper mechanicals and greeting cards. Tamar has an A.B. from Harvard College and a Masters in Landscape Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design.
3:45 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Break

4:00 p.m.
Panel Discussion: "Using Ephemera in Artistic Creation
Cynthia Hart, Caroline Preston and Diane Zumsteg
-- Moderated by Nancy Rosin
Cynthia Hart is a product and packaging designer, an award-winning three-dimensional illustrator, a collagist, and a dedicated ephemera collector. She is the author/co-author of seven books for Workman Publishing and is the creator of Cynthia Hart's Victoriana Calendar--a perennial favorite now in production for its 25th edition. Her licensed designs have generated nearly a half-billion dollars in retail sales.

Caroline Preston started collecting antique valentines and scrapbooks in high school. For her latest novel "The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt" (winner of a 2012 Alex Award from the American Library Association), she has drawn 600 pieces from her own collection of vintage ephemera to create a narrative in the unique form of a 1920s scrapbook. She will also show examples of scrapbooks from her collection that read like novels. Caroline has worked as an archivist at Rhode Island historical Society, the Peabody/Essex Museum and Harvard's Houghton Library.

Diane Zumsteg is a San Francisco artist who uses original ephemera to inspire collage pieces, not for commercial distribution but for personalized gifts. She worked as an assistant interior designer in Beverly Hills and managed a fine hand fabricated jewelry gallery in San Francisco.  She has been a collector since discovering children's illustrated books as a student at UCLA.

Book signings immediately following:
David Jury, Graphic Design Before Graphic Designers
Caroline Preston, The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt
Cynthia Hart, The Oral History Workshop
Also Friday:
- 2:30 p.m. -- Dealer Set-up
- 7-8 p.m. -- Silent Auction Preview in Roundhill.

- 8 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. -- Silent Bid Auction in Roundhill. Many Lots. Bid early and often!
- 8:15 a.m. -- Memberships will be sold at the Ephemera Society desk at the entrance to the show in the Grand Ballroom.
- 9 a.m. -- Members-only show preview ($10) for the Society's 33rd Annual Paper Show in Grand Ballroom. Please have your membership card available.
- 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. -- Exhibits open in Winthrop.
- 10 a.m. -- General public entry. Admission is $12.
- 5 p.m. -- Show closes; reopens 11 a.m. Sunday.
- 5:30 p.m. -- Silent Auction final bids close in Roundhill Room.
- 5:30 p.m. - 6:45 p.m. -- Cash Bar outside Mead ABC.
- 6 p.m. Live Auction outside Mead ABC -- Auctioneer George Fox
- 7:00 p.m. Ephemera 33 Banquet--Mead ABC. Reservations required.

8:30 a.m.
Members annual meeting, Mead AB
All members urged to attend.

9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
An invitation to Create Art with Ephemera

Wendy Addison and Kate Murray
A hands-on opportunity for people to explore the possibilities of creating "art" using ephemera. All materials will be included so just bring your curiosity and your willingness to create!

Wendy Addison will bring many types of antique ephemera for attendees to use, as well as tools for transformation, such as die cutting, shadowboxes, eyelet setters, etc. On view will be many examples of her work from her shop, Theatre of Dreams ( Wendy combines her studies of fine art with her interest in antiques, by creating her "objects for an imaginary life." Using antique materials, including old sheet music, Victorian scrap, and silver glass glitter, her work connects with some lost sense of magic from times past. Wendy has written, illustrated, and hand-produced her second book, titled The Theatre of Dreams.

Kate Murray will give an overview on the use of ephemera in art with some examples, then give step by step instructions on creating your own "brag" book and deciding what bits of ephemera you would like to include! Kate's corporate career and world travel took her away from her artistic life of art and dance. In 2002,while simultaneously completing an MFA in Creative Writing in France, her creative passion drew her to found Vintage Charmings (, to support collage artists with their need for French and Asian Ephemera. Currently, when her travel schedule allows, Kate teaches book making, mixed-media art, and Chinese calligraphy.

- 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. -- Paper Show in the Grand Ballroom.
- 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. -- Exhibits open in Winthrop.
- 1:00 p.m. - 3 p.m. -- Ephemera appraisals ($5 each)
- 4 p.m. -- Ephemera 33 closes.
Thanks to our Corporate Supporters
Swann Galleries, Inc.
Heritage Auctions
Ephemera/33 conference registration includes free admission to a Board Reception on Thursday evening, seven seminars on Friday and Sunday, Exhibits, and two Collectors' Forums. A separate admission fee applies to Saturday's and Sunday's paper show. See 9 a.m. Saturday listing for details.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Magazine valentine, c. 1940s

Yes, once upon a time there was Look, Life and Home Companion magazine. Life continues to put out issues devoted to a celebrity or a special event. Back in the old days, it was a weekly.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Kitchen pun valentines, c. 1950s

I could stock a few rooms of a scrapbook house with the food and appliance play-on-word valentines in my collection. (Hmm, not a bad way to showcase a collection!)

Love the corny puns, and the die-cut designs of these cards -- and of course the way they show everyday appliances from another era.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Love Song valentine, 1927

Mechanical, printed in Germany (eyes move back and forth). On back, dated 1927, "Edah from Mother." Love the old crank turntable, and the Bonzo look- alike- dog, very popular at the time.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Dress a Bridal Party Paper Dolls

A perfect way to end Valentine's Day: with a wedding, featuring scads of designs by paper doll artists. Jenny Taliadoros and Norma Lu Meehan have put together an absolutely fabulous book.

I love seeing the work of artists I've come to know at conventions, plus, I love meeting new artists in these pages.  You'll find flights of fantasy here, but also some gowns worn by the artist or family members. This is a sumptuous buffet of design.

You can order your copy by clicking here.

Best Valentine Wishes, 1929

"I cannot put my thoughts in print,
I simply give this little hint
I'd like to be your Valentine."

A pretty design. Love the simple message, with no care to rhyme that last line. Sweet. Another WhitneyMade card.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Guard post valentine, c. 1930s

This is a very cleverly constructed valentine. You can see the additional fold near the girl's arm, that allows her face to fit snugly in the soldier's outfit when the card is closed.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Box seat valentine, c. 1920s

 "Do you think that fairy tales come true?
'Cause I know of one 'bout me an' you.
I am sure that this one's really so...
May I tell you it? Please don't say, NO."

Alice Walsh put her heart into her signature,  a work of art itself.
Publisher's mark: "WhitneyMade, Worcester, Mass."

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Wooden toy mechanical valentine, c. 1920s

This is one of the many valentines I found at Gannons Antiques in Fort Myers, right before we caught our plane back home. Piles and piles of old valentines, and I had to decide quick which ones I wanted to take home. It was a great way to end a vacation.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Masked valentine mechanical, c. 1920s

Made in Germany, initialed H.B. by artist/manufacturer.

"The only favor that I ask,
 Is that you will remove your mask.
Oh, gaze into these eyes of mine
And take me for your Valentine."

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Kitty walker mechanical valentine, c. 1940s

This Kitty walker mechanical has two pairs of rotating paws hooked to one brad on her skirt! A real cutie.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Morning glory valentine, c. 1930s

Flowers have been inspiring paper doll artists for quite a while. I love this variation on the theme!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Islander Trading Post on Sanibel Island

The Islander Trading Post on Sanibel Island in Florida was a highlight of my recent vacation. The place is packed to the rafters. Click on the link to see more of their fantastic collections.

I was really impressed with these head vases. I think $35 is a good price; I've seen them for much more.

These glove molds freaked me out a bit. My friend Carol has a nice collection of these, perfect to display costume jewelry.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Shoe polish valentine, c. 1930s

I can't quite decide if these valentines I recently purchased are 1920s or 1930s. Great graphics in both eras.