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The Ephemera Society Journal

The Ephemerist

Autumn 2021 issue Nº 194 of The Ephemerist, the society’s high quality journal, is scheduled to be posted to members in October 2021.

Collecting games and the ephemera of games has proven to be popular amongst our Members; the theme has inspired so many interesting contributions that it has been difficult to select which ones to feature.

Represented in this issue are playing cards, dominoes, printed board games about subjects from magic worlds to types of pasta – and Japanese water flowers.

As often in the collection and study of ephemera, the insights about social history that the games reveal is often of greater interest than their theme. Our regular features Mrs Pepys and Notes & Queries complete the issue. The Editor

The cover shows Historical Pastime. A new game of the history of England from William 1st to Geoe. 4th. E. Harris and J. Wallis & Son, London, 1824, © Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford.

  1. The Editor is always delighted to receive contributions about any aspect of ephemera and collecting ephemera. Submission deadlines are:
  2. Winter Nº 195 15 November 2021
  3. Spring Nº 196 15 February 2022
  4. Summer Nº 197 15 May 2022
  5. August Nº 198 15 August 2022

Why not become a member today? A year’s membership of The Ephemera Society entitles you to four issues. Join us! The Ephemera Society is always pleased to welcome new members. Payment can be made online via PayPal.


Free to View Pages on the British Newspaper Archive(BRNA)

9 August 2021

Newspaper headers

Following the extension of their successful partnership with the British Library, the BRNA are delighted to announce that millions of pages will be made free to view on the British Newspaper Archive, with one million of these free to view pages made available already.

The British Library and the British Newspaper Archive are committed to making historical resources available to more and more people, and the introduction of free to view pages marks a significant milestone in this commitment.

Now, with one million pages made free to view, consisting of 150 titles and spanning the years 1720-1880 more and more people will be able to search the unparalleled resource which is offered by the British Newspaper Archive, in partnership with the British Library.

Over the next three years, there will be a total of 3.7 million free to view pages being added to The Archive, with the aim of shedding light on the diverse content held by the British Library.

More details



1-31 October 2021 · On-line Phillumeny Exhibition

matchbox label

The BML&BS are excited to announce they will be holding an on-line Phillumeny exhibition in October, which will actively promote the hobby of matchbox label and bookmatch collecting (phillumeny) and encourage international collaboration among collectors of all ages.

The exhibition will be available on the society's web site and will include an (on-line) exhibition catalogue, a visitor book, and there will be awards. They also will be offering weekly guided tours (using Zoom) with opportunities to talk with the exhibitors.

Each exhibit will consist of up to 10 images together with a title, a description of the exhibit and a biography of the exhibitor. Short video exhibits are also welcomed. Exhibits must be of phillumenistic material but can be on any topic. Also, we would encourage exhibits about “why I started collecting”. Exhibits need to be in English, but can be dual-language exhibits.

Anybody can submit an exhibit to the exhibition organisers, using the on-line form on the web site or by writing to the address below. It is free for BML&BS Society members to exhibit, non-members will be charged £10 per exhibit. Everybody is welcome to visit the exhibition.

  • On-line Exhibition
  • 22 Seafield Road
  • Millbrook
  • Southampton
  • Hants
  • SO16 1NT
  • UK
  • https://www.phillumeny.com



Book cover

Exploring Shell's remarkable advertising archive, which includes an extensive poster collection, as well as film, cartoon graphics and guidebooks, this book is the first to present a comprehensive overview of the company's artistic heritage.

The key contributions made by some major artists and designers including Paul Nash, Graham Sutherland, Ben Nicholson and Edward McKnight Kauffer are highlighted and beautifully reproduced from original archive material, and broader questions are explored, such as Shell's position within contemporary debates regarding the aesthetics of 'Commercial Art'.

By delving into the ways in which Shell's publicity was conceived, commissioned and disseminated in the 20th century, the authors examine the historical and social contexts of Shell’s advertising and assess the work's broader cultural significance in shaping an era defined by travel, prosperity and mass democracy.

Hardback • 208 Pages • Size: 270 × 249 mm • Includes 120 colour and 50 B&W illustrations
ISBN: 9781848223783 • Publication: 6 September 2021

Publisher: Lund Humphries


Hawkers, Beggars and Quacks: Portraits from The Cries of London

By Sean Shesgreen

Book cover

Marcellus Laroon’s The Cryes of the City of London drawne after the Life presents, in seventy-four striking portraits, a panorama of London’s marginal men and women: street vendors, hustlers and petty criminals together with the shouts (or cries) they used to hawk their wares, as they existed at the end of the seventeenth century.

Following an illustrated introduction which sets Laroon’s engravings within the tradition of the Cries, each portrait is beautifully reproduced with a commentary that illuminates the individual street-seller and their trade. The commentaries provide a wealth of detail about their dress, the equipment they used to ply their trade, the meat and drink of those they served and their own diets. This book also mines historical archives for contemporary reports about the colourful and often desperate lives of these hawkers.

Drawing on the historic material found in the Burney Collection of English newspapers, this book provides a fascinating insight into the men and women who made their livelihood, legally and illegally, on the streets of England’s capital.

Hardback · 240 pages, 245 x 190 mm · c.100 illustrations · ISBN: 9781851245512
Publication September 2021

Publisher: Bodleian Shop


John Hassall: The Life and Art of the Poster King

By Lucinda Gosling

Book cover

During the early twentieth century, John Hassall was one of Britain's best-known and most high-profile artists. Working across a variety of disciplines, he was a prolific book illustrator, a humorous artist for postcards and magazines, an art school founder and teacher, a painter in oils, consummate clubman, and a designer of toys, figurines, pottery and nursery decor.

But it was through his commercial illustration for travel companies, political causes, theatre and well-known brands that he made his name in an age when advertising hoardings were known as the, 'poor man's art gallery'.

Hassall's natural affinity for poster art, and the popularity of his creations, was to earn him the title, 'The Poster King'. Employing bold line, flat colours and an engagingly cheery style, Hassall's designs had immediate impact with many creations, notably his famous, 'Skegness is SO bracing' poster, becoming embedded in popular culture.

Drawing on previously unpublished artwork and sketches along with letters, diaries and photographs, this lavishly illustrated book seeks to explore the full scope of John Hassall's body of work, and to celebrate the life of this extraordinary artist a century on from his heyday.

Publisher: Unicorn


Tom Eckersley: A Mid-Century Modern Master

By Paul Rennie

Book cover

Tom Eckersley (1914-1997) was an English poster artist and design teacher, and part of the “outsider” generation that transformed graphic design in Britain in the mid-century era.

As a graphic designer and poster artist, he was at the forefront of the explosion of print culture in Britain during the 20th century.

He is best known for his posters, which used bold, bright colours and flat graphic shapes to convey their message in a simple and effective way.

His design work spans WWII and the decades following, and his impressive client list includes the BBC, Ministry of Information, British Rail, the Post Office, Guinness, Keep Britain Tidy, London Transport, Imperial War Museum, Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, Gillette, Ealing Films, Shell, and BP. The book is packed with Eckersley's instantly recognizable, bright and colourful posters.

ISBN: 9781849946049 · 256 pages, 220 colour illustrations
Publication July 2021 · Publisher: Pavilion Books


Book cover

The Inks of De La Rue & Co.

By Peter Young FRPSL

Identification of bank notes, stamps or postal stationery is primarily by colour, as are labels for grocery products, railway tickets, or other paper ephemera. Obviously, printing on them may spell out their denominations or reasons to exist, but it is colour that the eyes identify first.

But that is determined by the inks used which, in turn, are determined by their ingredients and recipes. Yet the subject of inks has been the least studied aspects in printing history despite some shades of colour being more eagerly sought by collectors than others.

This book should appeal to both philatelists, notaphilists , or collectors of ephemera, as well as printers and social historians wanting to know more about printed products in previous ages.

The Inks of De La Rue & Co. and their introduction of synthetic and aniline ingredients c.1850-1910
432-page hardback (ISBN 978-1-913015-09-1)
More details: The Royal Philatelic Society London


This Is What Democracy Looked Like: A Visual History of the Printed Ballot

Book cover This Is What Democracy Looked Like, the first illustrated history of printed ballot design, illuminates the noble but often flawed process at the heart of democracy.

An exploration and celebration of US ballots from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, this visual history reveals unregulated, outlandish, and, at times, absurd designs that reflect the explosive growth and changing face of the voting public.

The ballots offer insight into a pivotal time in American history---a period of tectonic shifts in the electoral system---fraught with electoral fraud, disenfranchisement, scams, and skullduggery, as parties printed their own tickets and voters risked their lives going to the polls.

Details: Hardcover, Size: 6.75 X 10.25 inch, Pages: 176, Colour: 200, ISBN: 9781616898878
Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press