Showing posts from May, 2009

Advertising with bibliophiles

The economy of late has drawn more than the occasional comparison to the Great Depression. And a once stalwart company such as General Motors is looking more like Government Motors these days. Against such a backdrop, I found (and had to add to my collection) a Great Depression-era print ad for a General Motors product--a 1934 Chevrolet Master Six Sedan. The kicker for me, and the reason for this post, is that Chevrolet used a bibliophile to represent its target audience for the ad. Most unusual, to say the least, and quite interesting to a bibliophile in tough economic times 75 years later. Chevrolet, along with other auto makers, was undoubtedly struggling in 1934--smack dab in the middle of the Great Depression. The ad campaign above decided to go after those who still had some disposable income and try to persuade them to lower their standards (my interpretation) and spend their money on a more economical model--the Chevrolet Master Six Sedan. This bibliophile is no car connoisseur

The American Bookbinders Museum

You won't need a ticket to get into the American Bookbinders Museum Web site, but you will find plenty of tickets once you are there. A bookbinder's ticket is actually a small, printed label that advertises the bookbinder's business and craftsmanship in the work the reader is holding. The example above is from a Dutch collector who recently emailed me some scanned samples, which I featured in a recent post here . The bookbinder is identified by name and, most always, location, and there may be additional information about the business. This information may be presented with accompanying decorative graphics or in just a plain vanilla style. The label, or ticket (the two terms are often used interchangeably), is typically affixed to one of the endpapers. I tend to find more on the rear endpaper, but the front endpaper is certainly no stranger to these tiny collectibles. These are typically found in older books (say mid-twentieth century and earlier) when the practice of affi

La Exposicion Iberica de Ex-Libris,
Valencia 1950

I have here two bookplate-related postal covers ( bibliophilately ) advertising an exhibition of ex-libris or bookplate art, I would suppose, in Valencia, Spain, the week of May 15-21, 1950. I cannot find anything on this exposition/exhibition, nor can I find anything on the addressee. Another clue is in the illustration of the bookplate on the first cover (zoomed-in shot below). The name Juan Carsi y Figueras is the owner name depicted on the plate. That lead dead-ends quickly. Perhaps the Bookplate Junkie can shed some light on this Exposicion. I didn't want to wait to find out the story behind these covers. They are too unique, interesting, and attractive not to share now.

Swan American Bookstore - Havana, Cuba

With Cuba in the news recently, as the Obama administration lifts certain restrictions and explores lifting others, here is a topical piece of bibliophemera from my collection--a 1943 cover from the Swan American Bookstore in Havana, Cuba. The Swan American Bookstore, as the name would imply, stocked only American books printed in English. If you were looking for a Spanish language book here in 1943, lo siento, pero todos los libros son en Ingles . The bookstore was still in business in 1949 and was referenced in a 1949 St. Petersburg Times article about bookstores in Havana. Obispo sounds like it was the street to do business on. According to the article, "Calle Obispo is a narrow, busy street as full of bookstores as Central Avenue is of fruit stands in the tourist season." The environment along the street amid shopkeepers and book browsers appears to have been laid back: "Proprietors and clerks don’t mind if customers stand around reading their books." Six years

Dutch Treat: Bookseller & Bookbinder Tickets

I was recently contacted by a Dutch collector of bookseller/bookbinder labels, or tickets about trading duplicates. Unfortunately, my collection is so small I didn't have any duplicates at present to trade. But anyone who does have duplicates and is interested in swapping for Dutch (and other) tickets, please contact me and I will forward your information. This person was kind enough to scan some examples and email to me, and is also mailing me some to include in my collection. How nice is that?! As soon as I acquire some duplicates, they are headed across the Atlantic for the Netherlands. Meanwhile, I have permission to share some fine examples from my newfound fellow collector. Enjoy this Dutch treat! E I N D E (for now)