Antiques & Auction News 021012
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Published Weekly By Joel Sater Publicationswww.antiquesandauctionnews.net
VOL. 43, NO. 5FRIDAY FEBRUARY 10, 2012
By Katherine Kreiderost of us believeBoomers were born dur-ing 1950s through
1960s; reality is, the boomer gen-eration started in 1946 through1960s. Armed with knowledgethat boomers make up 28 percentof our population and arebetween ages of 50 to 60 yearsold, it was inevitable thatBoomer valentines would bethe next hot collectible.
Each generation wants torecreate its own memories. Well,boomers are not any different.This time frame has a plethora ofcategories to choose from.Remember, Yogi Bear, AntennaTV, vinyl records and the dancecraze known as The Twist? All ofthese and more can be found inthe imagery of school-givenvalentine cards.
Most ephemeral of all boomervalentine collectibles would bethe handmade valentine boxesand bags lovingly decorated toreceive those grade school valen-
tines. They wereone of the
first things our parents threw out,fortunately a lot of parents heldon to valentine cards, stored themaway in the attic, in a drawer, orother out of way place to befound years later by the child,
now agrown up. For thegrown up look-ing througheach andevery card,all sorts ofm e m o r i e scome flood-ing back -first schoolcrush, figur-ing out schoolmates namesin numericalcode. Or, howabout the echoesof school teach-ers voices givinginstructions like this,Make sure you giveeach and every one ofyour classmates a valentinecard!. These tangi-ble pieces of paperhave become a greatway to share withyour children and grandchildrenthe day you received your first
va len t inec a r d .This is
qu i t ea
different view from the e-cards andholiday flash mobs current genera-tions are accustomed to. Unlessthose moments are captured onphoto film (oops, gone as well)these digital memories can be
deleted with a flick of your finger.Even though millions of valentineswere produced, keep in mind thatmany cards ended up being thrownaway, therefore reducing the num-bers available to be preserved inarchives.
One question Im oftenasked goes like this, If Irecycle these old cards,what do I do about a
signature on the backof the card? Its rec-ommended that youdo not erase the firstgivers signature. Justadd your signature toback of the card, alongwith the current date, toturn your recycled valen-tine into a keepsake. Infact, its good to keep inmind that all holi-day greeting cardscan be recycled -helping with thecarbon footprint ofthe planet at thesame time!
According to Hallmark,Valentines Day is second only toChristmas in recognition of cele-
brating ahol i -
day,w i t h
1 4 4m i l l i o n
cards (noti n c l u d i n g
classroom valentines) sent in 2011.During boomer years greeting cardmanufacturers implemented vari-ous changes to their card lines,such as accenting cards with silversparkles and red flocking, creatingboxed cards for school room giv-ing, and one of the best marketedtools, adding personalization toindividual cards - for all membersof the family. Buyers could nowbe definitive when purchasingthat special card for someonethey loved.
Classroom valentine cardstyles varied. Flats and folded-flats were primarily used forclassroom cards. During thistime frame, most of the manu-facturers offered fancier andmore expensive styles as well.
Dimensional and novelty weresome favorites among customers.
From speaking to school teach-ers over the years, Ive learned thatthe ritual of classroom swapping ofvalentine cards is basically gone,mostly due to economics. Unlessthere are teachers with a particular
fondness for St. Valentines Daythat will be willing to bringawareness of the origins of thisday to students, itseems that
Valentines Day will be gone fromclassrooms forever.
Now that weve established thefact that boomer valentines aresought after, the next thing to beaddressed is the where to findthem. That part does not seem tobe a problem. Saunteringthrough flea markets, antiqueshows, paper shows, or co-ops,you can usually find a smallbasket of them. They general-ly sell from fifty cents to sev-eral dollars per card. Takinginto account that these cardsare already 50 to 60 years old,this is quite a value in my
opinion. Before online shop-ping appeared on the scene theavid collector put many miles ontheir feet when acquiring a seri-
ous collection. Today, new collec-tors
c a nh a v ea ninstantcollec-t i o ns h o p -p i n gt h e s eo n l i n esources.However,the touch factor is out of the
question whenpurchasing cards
online. As youadvance in collect-ing, this factorbecomes morei m p o r t a n tbecause paper is
so fragile.Any crease,pinhole, etc.
can detractfrom the card
and lower its value.The more intricatecard requires closeexamination beforepurchase, making in- person shopping avaluable processwhen choosing acard to add to yourprivate collection.
Values rise onmany cardsbased on the cat-
egory and rarityalone.
No matter whattime frame collected, properpreservation of cards that youcherish is important. Commonsense goes a long way in takingcare of your treasure trove ofcards. Keeping them out of directsun light and storing them in acidfree boxes in a temperature-con-trolled room helps in the preser-vation of all paper collectibles.On the East Coast beware of sil-verfish, the little creatures thatlove to devour paper. Anothermethod for preserving cards is toframe them. As long as archivalmaterials are used, these cardswill live on for many generations.
If, per chance, you really getbitten by the love bug, or want tobecome a serious collector ofantique valentine cards, there aremany opportunities to advanceyour collection by adding valen-tines from decades past. Yourknowledge will grow the moreyou delve into each card. Fromgraphic designs, manufacturertrademarks, paper stock, andartists signatures, youll find thatthe actual card will no longerappear to be just a little valentine.It will turn into an artifact.
In conclusion, its not too lateto start a Boomer collection ofyour choice. For a small invest-ment you can create a memorableteaching moment, or recreatemoments from the past that madeyou happy. Most collectors saytheir collections bring them enor-mous happiness on a personallevel, and if someone else gainsknowledge or interest in collect-
ing from sharing in their collec-tions, these are added
bonuses. Who knows?Upon achieving aserious collection,you might becomethe next Ephemeradealer.
Good Luck andHappy ValentinesDay!
(All photoscopyrighted andfrom Kreider
Collection)FFoollddeedd--ffllaatt CCookkeess vvaalleennttiinnee ccaarrdd ddeessiiggnneedd bbyy
FFlliinnttssttoonneess,, ffllaatt,, bbyy HH..BB.. PPrroodduuccttiioonnss,, $$88..
FFllaatt,, bbyy CCaarrrriinnggttoonn CCoommppaannyy,, $$44..
FFllaatt,, aacccceenntteeddvvaalleennttiinnee wwiitthh ssiillvveerr
cciirrccaa 11996600ss,, $$66..
BBaabbyy BBoooommeerr VVaalleennttiinneess
(More Photos On Page 4)
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