Sunday, September 21, 2008

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Snowman Collection Continues

This 2" x 3" trading card from turn of the century is actually actually based on one of the earliest book illustrations of a snowman. Trading cards were (generally) in circulation before postcards and magazine ads and were on left counters of stores as sort of a business card. Collecting them atthe time was a popular pastime.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Brimfield Residue

That would be Brimfield, Massachusetts, home of the largest flea market.

A detail from a large 4-foot long painted saw.

Brimfield – my pretty goofy set-up where I signed copies of my book. (Can't complain. It went very well and I ran out of books very early.)

Special thanks to WorthPoint, a website for collectors and antique experts, who came and chatted with me and video-taped a brief discussion on my snowman collection and my insights. I'm sure I could learn alot from them but since we're on the subject I'll just touch on the subject before I go in-depth in a later post.

The way I see it, there's really two divisions of snowman collecting; kitsch, which makes up 35% of all church sales and then there's collectibles like Christmas ornaments from the '50s and earlier and paper goods (like old book illustrations dating back to 1790's, postcards from turn of the century and trading cards from the 1880's and such). Of course there thousands of other materials to find a snowman on but it's case by case as to whether the item would enhance your collection. The world's largest collection is in Germany and made up of about 11,000 items. But my smaller collection of 800 is far more historical and interesting because of the much better kitsch-to-collectible ratio. Anyone can amass a large snowman collection strolling through any flea market on a given Sunday morning. More interesting is finding examples of the snowman in less common scenes (eg. a HTL, hold-to-light postcard of Santa Claus driving an automobile and running over a snowman) or depicted in a more serious way (no Frostys). In other words showing the snowman more as a form of folk-art and less a salesman for clothes or toys (unless the product is something unusual, like this asbestos ad). Some good examples from my own collection can be seen on top of my writing blog. Happy searching and please feel free to ask me any questions as I am a certified snowman expert.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

104 Shopping Days Left For Christmas

NEW YORK, NY – Well, it won't be long now. To hold us over until we start seeing some snow on the ground, I will begin posting my illustrious snowman collection! First up at the plate is a snowman soap from England (I have about 8 soap items in my snowman collection).

Bit of book news...The History of the Snowman will be re-released in November in a revised, updated version.

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