• <b><center>Koller Auctions<br>Books & Autographs<br>29 March 2023</b>
    <b>Koller, Mar. 29:</b> DADA - <i>Cabaret Voltaire.</i> A collection of artistic and literary contributions. Edited by Hugo Ball. CHF 5,000 to 8,000.
    <b>Koller, Mar. 29:</b> EXPRESSIONISM - <i>Der Sturm.</i> Weekly magazine for culture and the arts. Almost complete suite from the years 1910 to 1932. CHF 20,000 to 30,000.
    <b>Koller, Mar. 29:</b> LISBON EARTHQUAKE - <i>Augsburg collection of copper engravings of Lisbon. CHF 40,000 to 60,000.
    <b>Koller, Mar. 29:</b> Hamilton, William. <i>Campi Phlegraei. Observations on the Volcanos of the Two Sicilies as they have been communicated to the Royal Society of London.</i> Naples, 1776-1779. CHF 50,000 to 70,000.
    <b><center>Koller Auctions<br>Books & Autographs<br>29 March 2023</b>
    <b>Koller, Mar. 29:</b> Leonardi, Domenico Felice. <i>Le Delizie della villa di Castellazzo descritte in verso dall'abbate Domenico Felice Leonardi lucchese fra gli Arcadi Ildosio Foloetico.</i> Milan, 1743. CHF 12,000 to 18,000.
    <b>Koller, Mar. 29:</b> Zwingli, Huldrych. <i>Von erkiesen und freyhait der speisen. Von ergernusz und Verbößerung. Ob man gewalt hab die speyß zu etlichen zeyten verbieten [...]</i>. CHF 2,500 to 4,000.
    <b>Koller, Mar. 29:</b> HENDRIK VAN VULLENHOE, UMKREIS. Benedictional and other texts for Johannes von Venningen, Bishop of Basel. Latin manuscript on parchment. CHF 50,000 to 80,000.
    <b>Koller, Mar. 29:</b> Gujer, Hans Rudolf. Master typist's book by Hans Rudolf Gujer from Wermetschweil (Wermatswil). German manuscript on paper. CHF 3,000 to 5,000.
  • <b><center>Stargardt Autographenhandlung<br>Autographs: Literature, Music, Art, Science, History, Theatre & Film<br>March 28, 2023</b>
    <b>Stargardt Autographenhandlung, Mar. 28:</b> Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: Autograph album leaf signed, 1826. €9,000 to €12,000.
    <b>Stargardt Autographenhandlung, Mar. 28:</b> Franz Kafka: Autograph letter unsigned, 1924. €15,000 to €20,000.
    <b>Stargardt Autographenhandlung, Mar. 28:</b> Torquato Tasso: Autograph poem signed, no date. €12,000 to €16,000.
    <b><center>Stargardt Autographenhandlung<br>Autographs: Literature, Music, Art, Science, History, Theatre & Film<br>March 28, 2023</b>
    <b>Stargardt Autographenhandlung, Mar. 28:</b> Charles Darwin: Autograph letter signed, 1866. €4,500 to €6,000.
    <b>Stargardt Autographenhandlung, Mar. 28:</b> Albert Einstein: Autograph letter signed, 1933. €6,000 to €8,000.
    <b>Stargardt Autographenhandlung, Mar. 28:</b> Heinrich Hertz: Autograph manuscript signed, 1889. €18,000 to €24,000.
    <b><center>Stargardt Autographenhandlung<br>Autographs: Literature, Music, Art, Science, History, Theatre & Film<br>March 28, 2023</b>
    <b>Stargardt Autographenhandlung, Mar. 28:</b> Giambattista Bodoni: Autograph letter signed, 1787. €900 to €1,200.
    <b>Stargardt Autographenhandlung, Mar. 28:</b> Francisco de Goya: Autograph letter signed, 1789. €18,750 to €25,000.
    <b>Stargardt Autographenhandlung, Mar. 28:</b> Martin Luther: Notes from his desk, no date. €30,000 to €40,000.
    <b><center>Stargardt Autographenhandlung<br>Autographs: Literature, Music, Art, Science, History, Theatre & Film<br>March 28, 2023</b>
    <b>Stargardt Autographenhandlung, Mar. 28:</b> Ludwig van Beethoven: Autograph letter signed, 1816. €22,500 to €30,000.
    <b>Stargardt Autographenhandlung, Mar. 28:</b> Gustav Mahler: Foto portrait signed and annotated, 1907(?). €7,500 to €10,000.
    <b>Stargardt Autographenhandlung, Mar. 28:</b> Bed?ich Smetana: Autograph letter signed, 1883. €4,500 to €6,000.
  • <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper<br>30th March 2023</b>
    <b>Forum, Mar. 30:</b> Roman binding.- Pindar. <i>Olympia, Pythia, Nemea, Isthmia,</i> translated by Johannes Lonicer, contemporary Roman binding by Niccolo Franzese, Basel, 1535. £40,000 to £60,000.
    <b>Forum, Mar. 30:</b> Raverat (Gwen). Comprehensive album of 530 wood engravings, circa 1909-1950. £40,000 to £60,000.
    <b>Forum, Mar. 30:</b> Hemingway (Ernest). <i>Fiesta,</i> first English edition, first impression dust-jacket, 1927. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper<br>30th March 2023</b>
    <b>Forum, Mar. 30:</b> Fleming (Ian). <i>Casino Royale,</i> first edition, first impression, 1953. £12,000 to £18,000.
    <b>Forum, Mar. 30:</b> Dickens (Charles). <i>Great Expectations,</i> 3 vol., first edition, first impression, Chapman and Hall, 1861. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b>Forum, Mar. 30:</b> Campbell (Colen) & others. <i>Vitruvius Britannicus, or The British Architect...,</i> 5 vol., vol.1-3 later editions, vol.4 & 5 first editions, [?1731]-31-67-71. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper<br>30th March 2023</b>
    <b>Forum, Mar. 30:</b> Geography.- Mela (Pomponius). <i>Cosmographia, sive De situ orbis,</i> Venice, Franciscus Renner de Heilbronn, 1478. £8,000 to £12,000.
    <b>Forum, Mar. 30:</b> America.- [?Espinosa y Tello (José)]. <i>Relacion del Viage hecho por las Goletas Sutil y Mexicana en el Año de 1792,</i> 2 vol. including Atlas, first edition, Madrid, 1802. £8,000 to £12,000.
    <b>Forum, Mar. 30:</b> Australasia.- Péron (Francois) and Louis-Claude de Saulces de Freycinet. <i>Voyage de Découvertes aux Terres Australes,</i> 5 vol. including Atlas, second edition, Paris, 1824. £8,000 to £12,000.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper<br>30th March 2023</b>
    <b>Forum, Mar. 30:</b> Botany.- Curtis (William). <i>The Botanical Magazine; or, Flower-Garden Displayed,</i> 83 vol. in 62, 1794-1956. £8,000 to £12,000.
    <b>Forum, Mar. 30:</b> Darwin (Charles).- Lecky (W.E.H.) <i>The Rise and Influence of Rationalism in Europe,</i> 2 vol., Darwin's copy with inscription "Charles Darwin 1865", pencil marginalia and pencil notes, 1865. £7,000 to £10,000.

Rare Book Monthly

Articles - September - 2021 Issue

The Ephemera Society of America: Strong Visuals, Nice People, Good Value


The Ephemera Society of America, founded in 1980, brings together collectors, dealers and academics who share an interest in this expanding field.

In years past ephemera was often seen as a stepchild to book collecting. Today interest in this field continues to increase, especially ephemera with strong graphic and design elements. Book collectors who are fans of ephemera see it as a way to expand the scope and depth of holdings with acquisitions that are usually far closer to one-of-a-kind than books.


Ephemera tends to have a more visual appeal and can often help interpret an author, a period, or genre. Once associated with quirky aunts with vast postcard albums, the field is now far broader, not to mention that prices and values have risen, often steeply, as interest has grown.


The best known group for enthusiasts is the Ephemera Society of America (ESA), founded in 1980. This is a lively and active organization with 700 to 800 members  according to ESA  president, Richard “Dick” Sheaff, 77, a retired graphic designer based in South Royalton, Vermont. 


Collectors, dealers, archivists and curators know about the word ephemera,” Sheaff said; “it’s not the mystery it once was. Many book dealers are members and many book people follow us on the ephemera side.” He also noted that Swann, the well known NYC auction house, has been a longtime sponsor. “To me,” he said, “a live ephemera show is a very visual event.”


The highlight of the organization’s schedule is their annual March conference and show held at the Hyatt in Greenwich, Connecticut. Though 2020 was cancelled due to covid and 2021 was done virtually, Sheaff was hopeful that the faithful would gather there again in 2022 for what he termed “the biggest and best ephemera event of the year.” 


He attributed the popularity of the Greenwich gathering to several factors: “The Hyatt Greenwich is an extremely pleasant venue. The location is handy for both New York and Boston. It typically occurs only weeks before the New York City book show. Dealers often visit it to find stock to take to New York. Typically there are live presentations on Friday and a large ephemera fair over the weekend.”


Shaeff explained the actual sales side is handled by an outside promoter, mentioning that for a number of years Marvin Getman has filled that function and its virtual offshoots. Getman will do so again when the live events resume.


In August 2021 ESA hosted an online event presented on the Getman platform. According to Getman, “The special summer edition of the virtual ephemera fair had very good results. The total sell-through rate was 20%, a number considered excellent for a virtual fair. There were 3,600 items listed from 102 dealers with average sales per dealer of almost $2,000. There were almost 3,800 visitors during the two day virtual event.”


One concern of the current board is the “greying out” of those interested in ephemera as well as other fields such as stamp collecting and books.“We’re working hard on getting youth involved,” Shaeff commented, including college age students as presenters and encouraging them to participate in our sessions. He observed that ”both undergraduate and graduate students have gotten excited about ephemera, particularly the Victorian period.” 


After all the emphasis on minimalism, the design schools are seeing the 19th century in a new light and that’s a positive thing.” He also mentioned typography and design from other eras are popular. “Whatever the period, it’s about printing.”


There is renewed interest in letterpress, steel engraving and other older forms in modern interpretations. ”We’re seeing this interest across the board,” he said, adding that “design schools are taking another look at earlier ways.” 


Reviewing his tenure as president, which ends in December, he feels the society has made substantial progress, most notably by raising funds to design and launch its new website ephemerasociety.org. The bylaws were also updated. 


Encouraging more youthful participation was a concern echoed by David Lilburne, 67, incoming president. Lilburne hopes to put a greater emphasis on attracting new and younger members and expanding the ESA’s use of social media during his two year term which will begin in January. 


Australian by birth, Liburne was formerly based in London. Now an American citizen, he and his wife Cathy run their company Antipodean Books, Maps and Prints (ABAA) from a shop in Garrison, NY. As for his own interests he has an extensive collection related to tea. He recalled joining the ESA in the 1980s and has been an enthusiastic member ever since.


Ephemera is just amazing," he said. “You see something and you’ll probably never see it again. I’m enchanted by the whole idea.” As for his view of other society members, “Their knowledge is enormous,” he said. Among the benefits of membership he pointed to the ESA directory which lists each member, contact information and area of interest. “Using it, you can reach out and find other collectors who are even further down the collecting path than you are.”


Longtime board member Barbara Fahs Charles,78, also spoke with Rare Book Hub. Charles is best known for her work with art and history museums as a partner in the Washington, DC firm of Staples & Charles. Now retired, she is presently a museum consultant and also has a strong personal interest in carousels. “I collect merry go rounds,” she said, “not the carved animals, but related materials such as, photos, catalogs, and prints.” She has been with the Ephemera Society since the beginning and witnessed its growth and evolution. She too was keen on the annual Greenwich event commenting, “Some of the best dealers in the country attend, there’s so much and it’s so visual, you never know what you are going to find.”


Charles also plays an important role in selecting and coordinating the society’s annual fall conference, which she said draws an estimated 25 members. This event is held in a different city every year, most recently in Ann Arbor, and Austin before that. At that time board members gather to discuss ESA business and tour a variety of institutions with ephemera collections and visit private dealers and collectors. Though suspended during the pandemic, she is hopeful that the next fall conference will be in Portland, Oregon in 2022. ”I’ve learned every time I go to a conference. It definitely helped our museum and exhibit business knowing about ephemera.”


Like many in the society Charles and her partner/husband Bob Staples have also bought and sold ephemera over the years, though she is not as active now as in the past. At one point, she said our entire collection was purchased so that left us no stock, but we kept collecting. Presently she is not dealing,”but I am writing and doing talks. I keep my hand in.”


As for the many benefits of the ESA membership she listed: There’s the conference and fair in Greenwich and the mid-year gathering. We have a journal that comes out three times a year, online events, monthly e-news listing auctions, shows and updates, and the membership directory. But to me the number one benefit is the friendships we’ve made. Many of our all time favorite people we have met through the society.”



Ephemera Society of America  www.ephemerasociety.org/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/EphemeraSociety/

Membership: www.ephemerasociety.org/membership/  

Rates for membership range from Individual membership at $70/US & $85 International with somewhat higher fees for institutions and other categories. The first year of membership is free for students in the US.


Dick Sheaff www.sheaff-ephemera.com/

David Lilburne www.antipodean.com/

Barbara Fahs Charles www.staplesandcharles.com/

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Gonnelli<br>Auction 41<br>Books, Autographs & Manuscripts<br>March 21st-23rd 2023</b>
    <b>Gonnelli:</b> Nabokov, <i>Lolita,</i> 1955. First edition, mint copy. Starting price 1900€
    <b>Gonnelli:</b> Marinetti, <i>Zang Tumb Tuuum,</i> 1914. First edition. Starting price 1600€
    <b>Gonnelli:</b> A collection of <i>Playboy,</i> starting price from 20€
    <b>Gonnelli:</b> Kepler, <i>Dioptrice,</i> 1611. First edition. Starting price 9500€
    <b>Gonnelli:</b> Barbault, <i>Les plus beaux Monuments de Rome,</i> 1761-1766. Starting price 5500€
    <b>Gonnelli:</b> Watson, <i>Dendrologia Britannica,</i> 1825. Starting price 380€
  • <b><center>Swann Auction Galleries<br>Printed & Manuscript African Americana:<br>March 30, 2023</b>
    <b>Swann March 30:</b> Victor H. Green, <i>The Negro Motorist Green Book,</i> New York, 1949. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann March 30:</b> Papers of pianist-composer Lawrence Brown relating to Paul Robeson & more, various places, 1925-54. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann March 30:</b> Freedom Summer archive of civil rights activist Karen Haberman Trusty, Atlanta & elsewhere, 1963-64. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann March 30:</b> E. Simms Campbell, <i>A Night-Club Map of Harlem,</i> New York, 1933. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann March 30:</b> Archive of letters from the sculptor Richmond Barthé to a close Jamaican friend, various places, 1966-85. $25,000 to $35,000.

Article Search

Archived Articles

Ask Questions