Help! I Was Framed – And Did Not Like It

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Pick: Well, Grin, nice find! Those old promotional booklets from WESTVACO Printing and Publishing should be popular. Entitled “Westvaco Inspirations for Printers”, they have a lot of neat advertising pictures, ready to frame! The paper is much more solid than magazine “tear sheets”, they are nice quality pages. The pages are marked with the specialty type of paper used, pretty cool! Let’s pull some out and look for frames!

DSC00236Grin: What? Are you crazy? These will be much better as a whole booklet. Lovers of ¬†“Advertising from the Golden Age”, the 1920s and 30s, will be delighted to have these in their collection.

Pick: But check out some of those ads. The artists are top-of-the-line and even the articles, like the one on Will Bradley, is framable! And pictures by Robert Cheveux, Cavarrubias, Will Hollingsworth, Maxfield Parish, these are incredible.

Grin: I just do not have the heart to tear these up. Although, I do agree that the page showing the Erte’ ad for nylon stockings is awesome. I can see it in a period frame, perhaps in a bathroom or on a vanity.

DSC00225Pick: So I am swaying you, huh? That’s hard to believe since you have that stubborn Austrian gene from your dad.

Grin: Stubborn? My dad and I argued all the time over who was most stubborn and I believe I won (meaning HE was more bull-headed.)
In any case, no, I am not convinced.

Pick: Well, if not separated, what will you do with them? Coffee table books have lost popularity (at least since Kramer had his pop-up book.)

Grin: Well, we have a daughter who loves ephemera and her husband is a “font-lover”, so perhaps they’d like to check them out before we decide what to do.

DSC00233Pick: Well, how would it be if you listed just one of them on-line. Maybe you’ll get some information on their value or what type of buyer might be inclined to purchase these.

Grin: That sounds perfect for Etsy. It just might work. For once, we have reached a pleasant compromise. Dad would be proud!

[Editor’s Note: Westvaco, originally the Piedmont Pulp and Paper Company and then The West Virginia Pulp and Paper Company, became MeadWestvaco when it merged with The Mead Corporation in January, 2002. You can find the first listing of these Westvaco. publications here!]

How Does The Deal Measure Up?

How Does The Deal Stack Up?

Frank Fritz of American Pickers calls it “the bundle” when he groups multiple items into a single sale to negotiate for a lower price. I think as collectors we’ve all done that… You spy a few records you want in the box and decide to make an offer on the whole box so you can flip through all the vintage vinyl more comfortably at home. In fact, there are a number of regular picking places hubby and I buy in volume to get a better deal over all and I swear that on more than one occasion we’ve paid less for a van-load of stuff than we would have paid for just one of the larger items.

Of course, there were times we’ve blown our budget on such “deals” too because we miscalculated just what was all in that box…

But Grinin’ — one half of Inherited Values own Antiquips who is otherwise known as The Dean — has tips for you on how to measure up your own deals going by the inch!

Read it and the next time you are faced with a box of records or comic books, a stack of View Master Reels, postcards or other ephemera, you’ll make a wiser decision — leaving you richer for the read.

The Value In Collecting & Reading Antique & Vintage Publications

It’s funny how your perspective changes…

I first wrote/posted about this November 1953 issue of Silhouette Magazine in July of 2008 — but when preparing to list it for sale on eBay, I found myself thumbing through the vintage publication with completely different eyes. For you see, when I first posted those images and silly thoughts, it would be another four months before Things Your Grandmother Knew would be born. Now I’m spotting tips on cleaning corduroy in a very different light!

Funny how perspective changes… Not just the out-of-sight-out-of-mind of putting the vintage booklet away, but the way we look at things, what we take from them, what our intentions are in terms of use — and the blinders we put on ourselves even when our intentions are “good” and purposeful. Yes, adding another blog opened my eyes to see old information in a new light. But what else might I see with another blog (oh, no, I have enough!) or in another few years, as life shifts my purpose, my interests, my needs? How does the old stuff maintain the same yet live on with new purpose?

In theory, and practice, this is the heart of recycling. But had I recycled this vintage booklet (either in the practical paper way or in an artistic one, using it for an altered art product or something), the content itself likely would have been lost.

As a collector and a reader, I’m often amazed at the power old periodicals and books have. Good fiction remains good fiction. And the non-fiction still teaches us things. Sure, some of it’s frightfully funny — or just plain frightful. Old medical and science texts, obviously spring to mind. So do the works which expose the woefully ignorant in terms of cultural issues, such as gender, race, etc.

But even when the information is hopelessly outdated or just plain hopeless, reading old works gives us great insights into how things really were at that time. And let me tell you, not a whole lot has changed. Humans still desire the same things, buy and sell with the same motivation, and whatever styles have faded to black have zoomed back into fashion too. More or less. The cultural or political pendulum swings back and forth. What’s gone around, comes around. Especially history we are doomed to repeat for having overlooked the earlier lessons.

Antique and vintage publications are too often overlooked themselves. Even by collectors. At appraisal fairs and on the television shows, experts continue to tell us “Old books, newspapers, and magazines have no value,” except in very rare cases. Perhaps that’s true in terms of the market price evaluation — but that’s merely a reflection of a lack of buyer interest. And the few who are buying old magazines and books often do so not for the written content, but for the cover art, the illustrations inside. (I personally feel they should just buy poster reprints and stop cutting up my precious bound babies!) Even those who buy firsts and other rare works seem to value the objects, but not the contents themselves.

It seems rather messed-up to me. You should buy an old book, magazine or newspaper for the same reasons you’d buy a new one: because of the story it tells, the information it provides — because you want to read it. And maybe even reread a few of them because your opinion may change over time.

If you really don’t want it, pass it along to one who does. We’re out there, really we are!

No, I Swear It Really Is All About the Articles, Playboy Magazine Back Issues

Ah yes, Playboy Magazine, I have fond memories, as if that’s a strange recollection for a man my age to have. Actually I do have old Playboy Collecting stories as around the time my Dad was collecting comic books back in the 70’s he was collecting men’s magazines as well. His collection stopped around 1980 and so it was probably around that time, no later than ’81, when I was nine and he had stacks upon stacks of nudie mags spread around the living room … and I entertained myself absorbed in this brand new world until he snapped at me asking what I was doing and I gave the now tired response of just reading the articles.

Playboy Magazine November 1965 James Bonds Girls Cover

In the mid-80’s when Dad was looking to sell I took what I felt was the appropriately jaded position of mocking my 8th Grade English Professor when he came to the house as a prospective customer. Well, not to his face, but I still chuckle thinking about it as he tried selling us on the fact that he was mainly interested in the literature inside those skin magazines. Dad eventually unloaded the collection to a fellow baseball card dealer during those card show days I so fondly look back upon, getting $1,000 cash and a few hundred in trade which he kindly passed my way.

But time marches on and suddenly half of my own business is dealing in magazine back issues and what title do I love to stock as much as any other? 1960’s issues of Playboy, and yes, it’s for the literature and the literature alone that I do so!

Playboy Magazine December 1965

Just this week I was pleasantly surprised to receive a dozen issues of Playboy from my favorite years, 1965-66, that were in such immaculate condition I felt like I’d just returned from a time machine trip to a Johnson Era newsstand. Forget that the pages are immaculate and the centerfolds are firmly attached, these are so nice that when describing them I’m noting dust-free covers and shiny staples in the binding. Bee-yoo-tees, they are, inside and out, and despite, yes, taking a quick gander at Catherine Deneuve in the buff, circa 1965, I swear, scout’s honor, it’s all about the lit.

Highlights:

  • Serialized portions of two James Bond stories by Ian Fleming, The Man With the Golden Gun over several 1965 issues; Octopussy in 1966
  • Serialized fiction by Lolita author Vladimir Nabokov
  • Fiction by P.G. Wodehouse
  • Fiction by Henry Miller
  • A Lee Harvey Oswald article by John Clellon Holmes
  • Interviews with Bob Dylan, Peter O’Toole, Bond himself, Sean Connery, among others
  • A wonderful nostalgia article by Jules Feiffer titled The Great Comic Book Heroes: Superman, Batman, Captain Marvel and all the rest of that marvelous crew; whence they came, who created them, and why they occupied a special place apart in the fantasies of our youth.

Plus them pictures. Sure, I may take a gander at Ursula Andress, er, I mean Catherine Deneuve, when paging through and noting contents, but the real meat inside vintage 1960’s issues of Playboy isn’t in the skin, it’s in the lit. I swear!