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The Ephemera Society Journal Spring 2022 issue Nº 196

The Ephemerist

The UK carrier sheet has details of the Summer Ephemera Fair and enclosed in this mailing is the booking form for the 2022 fairs - make a note in your diary.

Please note that the journal comes in a compostable wrapper, this means the wrapper must be composted - it will cause contamination if placed in your usual recycling.


The Ephemerist

        The cover shows a detail from a WWI postcard by Louis Wain, 1916.

Welcome to Spring issue Nº 196 which was posted to members on 29 March 2022.

We are always pleased to receive longer pieces, and are delighted that Twyman has chosen The Ephemerist to publish new research on the appropriation of works of art by advertisers. He discusses chromolithographic reproductions of paintings in the Louvre that featured on French advertising cards in the late nineteenth century and their incidental role in educating the public.

Tuck revives childhood memories from unexpected finds in a box of museum programmes, and Pawson uncovers a story in a modest penny programme from 1912.

We are also delighted by the collecting enthusiasms of our Members and happy to feature matchboxes and paper dolls in this issue. Our regular columns Mrs Pepys and Notes & Queries complete the journal. The Editor

  1. The Editor is always delighted to receive contributions about any aspect of ephemera and collecting ephemera. Submission deadlines are:
  2. Summer Nº 197 15 May 2022
  3. August Nº 198 15 August 2022
  4. Winter Nº 199 15 November 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.


Special Advertising Issue

Coming in 2022

Calling all collectors of advertising ephemera! Coming in 2022: Special Advertising issue. If you able to contribute an article about ephemera related to advertising, the editor of The Ephemerist would love to hear from you!
Contact sara@letterg.co.uk


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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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


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