Zero and the ampersand

Art and Industry magazine leaflet 1950
After a good breakfast I popped down to the ephemera fair this weekend. They are held regularly in hotels (various) up Bloomsbury way in London town. The breakfast is necessary because you need a strong stomach to stand next to a particular breed of unwashed men you get at collectors fairs. They are stale and unprepossessing, these men. They shoulder you to one side. On the hunt for very specific things (Have you got anything on vaccinations..?) and unwilling to let anyone get in their (sweaty) way.

Ephemera is a funny thing, I admit it. But really, all collecting is a funny thing. As a generalist I confuse the stall holders at these fairs. I just like looking at things. I like to be left alone to just paw through boxes and files.

It’s a cheap activity if you like what I like. From 50p to a few pounds, most of it. This here advertising leaflet is a super bit of graphic design by Hans Schleger, more often known under his nom de plume Zero. The leaflet announces that in January 1950 the magazine will return to it’s pre-wartime paper rationing size of 10 x 7 1/2 inches.

It cost me £2, beaten down from £3! And to some that might sound like a lot of pence for an old bit of paper. I couldn’t remember who designed the logo. But that’s half the fun – looking up things when you get home. I have a few issues of Art & Industry magazine from the 1940s. So in my ‘once a curator always a curator’ head, this lives with those.


shelf appeal

I refer to the specific world of ephemera, in which I am a generalist. Not so very generally general, I agree.

shelf appeal

Be warned it is a dark road that ends in ephemera fairs and piles of tatty old paper in your home.


Love your blog, I just found it. I’m an ephemera collector and a generalist too. Live in the US. Ephemera fairs are heaven.


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