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The Ephemerist

      The cover shows a poster for Italian ‘Punt e mes’ vermouth produced by
            Carpano featuring drawing and lettering by Charles Mozley.

Welcome to Summer 2022 issue Nº 197 which was posted to members on 5 July.

This summer we are delighted to be able to feature an article to support the current exhibition of the work of Charles Mozley at The Centre of Ephemera Studies at The University of Reading.

Mozley practiced as an artist and illustrator in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s, his vibrant images much in use on various advertising ephemera of the day.

Also explored in this issue is the ephemera related to the book publishing trade, in this case the ‘canvasing book’ – book samples to promote book sales – and the letterpress printing type specimens from the late David Peat.

And finally we feature the endearing work of Bruce Bairnfather, ‘The man who made the Empire laugh in its darkest hour’, a charming selection of typographic woven labels and our regular columns Notes & Queries and Mrs Pepys. The Editor

  1. The Editor is always delighted to receive contributions about any aspect of ephemera and collecting ephemera. Submission deadlines are:
  2. August Nº 198 15 August 2022
  3. Winter Nº 199 15 November 2022
  4. Spring Nº 200 15 February 2023

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.


Beauty in Letters: A Selection of Illuminated Addresses

By John Wilson

Book cover Illuminated addresses were at their most popular in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

They are books, scrolls or certificates presented to individuals, often in celebration of a distinguished service or event.

Typically they are written in fine calligraphy and embellished with skilled artwork and lustrous design and are a celebration of an important event, perhaps an honour, particular achievement or a retirement. Each illuminated address is unique.

This book tells of these stories and shows the beauty created by the skills of the illuminators.

Details: Hardback, Size: 275 x 220mm, Pages: 144, ISBN: 9781913491376
Publisher: Unicorn Publishing


Six Essays on Vauxhall Gardens

By David E. Coke

Book cover

Caret Press and The Vauxhall Society are pleased to announce the publication of Six Essays on Vauxhall Gardens by David E. Coke, a leading expert on London’s Georgian pleasure gardens. The papers in this collection originated as studies published on The Vauxhall Society website VauxhallHistory.org.

Naomi Clifford of Caret Press says: “We are thrilled to be able to make David’s latest research available to the wider public. These illustrated essays, all based on new research, expand and explore subjects that were only touched on in Vauxhall Gardens: A History, or have come to light since publication of that standard work, and are essential reading for anyone interested in Georgian and early Victorian society and culture.”

Essay subjects include:

  • The surprising career of C.H. Simpson, Master of Ceremonies 1795–1835.
  • Vauxhall Gardens in contemporary children’s board games.
  • Evanion–the ‘Royal Conjuror’, supplier of refreshments to Vauxhall, and obsessive collector of entertainment ephemera.
  • The record-breaking flight of the Royal Vauxhall Balloon in 1836.
  • Evidence of the popular nostalgia for Vauxhall after it closed.
  • Tracking the fate of Vauxhall’s outdoor bandstand.

Paperback £14.99 • 50 colour illustrations • Publisher: Caret Press


Ephemeral Print Culture in Early Modern England

By Tim Somers

Book cover

Cheap' genres of print such as ballads, almanacs and playing cards were part of everyday life in seventeenth-century society - ubiquitous and disposable. Toward the end of the century, however, individuals began to preserve, arrange and display articles of cheap print within carefully curated collections.

What motivated this sudden urge to preserve the ephemeral? This book answers that question by analysing the social, political and intellectual factors behind the formation of cheap print collections, how these collections were used by their owners, and what this activity can tell us about 'print culture' in the early modern period.

The book's central collector is John Bagford (1650-1715), a shoemaker who became a dealer of prints and other 'curiosities' to important collectors of the time such as Samuel Pepys, Hans Sloane and Robert Harley. Bagford's own rich and largely unstudied collection is a fascinating study in its own right and his position at the centre of commercial and intellectual networks opens up a whole world of collecting.

This world encompasses later Stuart partisan political culture, when modern parties and the 'public sphere' first emerged; the 'New Science' and 'virtuoso culture' with its milieu of natural philosophers, antiquaries and artisans; the aural and visual landscape of marketplaces, streets and alehouses; and developing practices of record-keeping, life-writing and historical writing during the long eighteenth century.

324 Pages • 23.4 x 15.6 cm • 33 b/w Illustrations • Publisher: Boydell Press


Shell Art & Advertising

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 • 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

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 • 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