Charity Vintage: I-Spy News Chronicle books

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set of 9 I-Spy News Chronicle books being sold on eBay for Charity by the Hospice of St Francis(All end on 3 Jun 2014, between 21:26 & 21:45 BST)

Once again, it’s a collection of vintage books being featured on this week’s Charity Vintage. This time there are 9 I-Spy News Chronicle books being auctioned as separate lots. They’re being sold by & in support of the Hospice of St Francis* who are based in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire. They’ve promised that if you happen to win all 9 books, postage will be no more than £2.99.

The I-Spy News Chronicle books were published for children, (often as a tool to keep them occupied on journeys and days out) mainly in the 1950s & 60s. There were 40 in the series. Visit the I-Spy entry on Wikipedia to find out more. Someone has put together a Pinterest board containing lots of the vintage and reissued books by Michelin.

*The Hospice aims to bring peace, comfort and dignity to patients and families facing the crisis of serious illness. They offer assessment and skilled clinical care, respite breaks, home support, day care and bereavement support. Care is free of charge and a flexible and individual approach is made.

Charity Vintage: Ladybird books

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4 lots of vintage Ladybird books for sale by Thames Hospice on eBay for Charity
Thames Hospice* is currently selling half a dozen lots of vintage Ladybird books. Each lot contains 10 or 15 books with a starting bid of £5.95 and £6.95 respectively. If you’re a collector and you’re interested you’d better hurry because they all end later on today!

The lots include books I remember having & reading as a child including Black Beauty, The Big Pancake and The Three Billy-goats Gruff. Their illustrations are so memorable! We sometimes buy & sell them ourselves – here’s a photo of a large haul of vintage Ladybird books we acquired a few years ago.

*At Thames Hospice their philosophy is that together they provide skilled and gentle care for adults with cancer and other potentially life shortening illnesses and their families, friends and carers, giving them hope and dignity throughout their illness both up to and following death.

Gimme Five! Bookends

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selection of 5 pairs of bookends

We had a bit of a spring clean and de-clutter last week. We have book shelves in many of the rooms in our house, all of them packed to the gills with books we haven’t touched in years. Lots of interior decoration books from the eighties when stencilling, stippling and rag-rolling of walls and floors were all the rage!

We purged enough of them to fill 4 banana boxes and gave them to a dealer we know who sells at the Todmorden flea-market on a Thursday. We now have lots of freed-up shelf space ready to fill with new interiors books, recipe books and vintage children’s books. We now also have space for a few pairs of bookends. I had a browse online to see what nice ones were available. You wouldn’t believe the huge number I found that were twee, plain or just downright ugly. Interesting, attractive, humorous bookends were thin on the ground – here are the ones with which we’d like to prop up our books.

  1. Artori book ends – falling books: £15.99, Amazon
  2. Kitchenalia bookend range by Susan Bradley Design: £18.40, Notonthehighstreet
  3. Jonathan Adler dachshund white resin bookends: $49.95, Barnes & Noble
  4. Vintage metal hand book ends – yellow metal: £32.69, Etsy
  5. Knowledge In The Brain head bookends: £120, Harvey Nichols

World Dolls Series Books

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collection of vintage World Dolls Series books | H is for Home

We recently blogged about the Holland edition in this vintage World Dolls Series of books.  So taken were we with the illustrations in that first book we acquired, that we’ve been on the hunt for further examples – and have got a nice little collection now.

countries featured in the vintage World Dolls Series of books | H is for Home

They were written by Irene Dark and produced by Pergamon Press Limited in the 1960s  – various illustrators from the Birmingham School of Design took part. Each book deserves its own spotlight so we’ve decided to do a mini blog series featuring the various countries. As we live in England, we’ll start this new series with that one next week.

Gimme Five! Cookbooks

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Selection of 5 cookbooks

Everybody loves to get a book for Christmas. I especially love to find a new, glossy, hardback cookbook under the tree to add to my collection!

Anyone who follows this blog will know that we love baking bread, cakes, pastries and cookies as well as using foraged ingredients. Here are five cookbooks that will go a long way towards extending our cookery repertoire!

  1. The Delia Collection – Baking: £10.03, Hive
  2. The Clandestine Cake Club Cookbook: £14.60, Foyles
  3. Tartine box set: £45, Blackwells
  4. Hedgerow (River Cottage Handbook, No.7): Amazon, £10.34
  5. Pie: Delicious Sweet and Savoury Pies and Pastries from Steak and Onion to Pecan Tart: from £11.37, AbeBooks

Bookmarks: Advertising from the Mad Men Era

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"Advertising from the Mad Man Era" with martini and cigarette in a mid-century modern glass ashtray

In this week’s Bookmarks post we’ve been taking a look at  Mid-century Ads: Advertising from the Mad Men Era by Steven Heller & Jim Heimann … and it certainly has been a long look – this book’s a leviathan!

the two volumes of "Advertising from the Mad Man Era"

It’s a twin volume, magnum opus of mid 20th century American ads covering many of the well known, not so well known, long extinct and still going strong corporations and brands. It takes us on a journey from quite literal ads heavy on copy & pictorialism to the modernist approaches incorporating abstraction, satire and visual simplicity.

book spines of "Advertising from the Mad Man Era"

The volumes are divided into decades – the 1950s and the 1960s.

inside front cover of "Advertising from the Mad Man Era"

The inside covers have an illustrated time line of advertising landmarks, followed by an introductory overview of the decade – then page after page after page of fabulous examples of advertising from the era.

contents page of "Advertising from the Mad Man Era"

Advertising in the mid-century modern era was all about feeding the populace ideas of success and affluence…

vintage advert with a poem entitled "Crossing"

 …how to achieve it, how to achieve the outward appearance of having it and, most of all, how to go about spending the fruits of it!

1950s airline advert for 880

The United States’ national GDP rose from £100 billion in 1940 to a staggering £500 billion in 1960.

1950s advert for Braniff Airways to Rio

The advertising industry grew rapidly in direct correlation to this ever-increasing disposable income.

1950s airline advert for TWA

As well as mass expansion in air travel, the 1950s were also a period of big, fast cars – affordable to more people than ever before.

1950s advert for Chevrolet

Cinema was at its height, new electrical goods were being invented or improved, convenience food products being developed and new fashions appearing.

1950s advert for Olivetti Lettera typewriters

With the ongoing prosperity and conspicuous consumption, interior decoration was a popular pastime and useful way of expressing one’s taste, showing off and “keeping up with the Jones'”. Weren’t we all transfixed by the interior design of the sets of the Stirling Cooper office, Don & Megan’s Manhattan love nest?

1950s advert for Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola was a staple of the US troops and its popularity soared post-war. Lots more women were going out to work – and every secretary needed her Olivetti typewriter! The development & growth of such products into huge brands led to the possibility of a distinct form of promotion – the snappy picture & tag-line creations often referred to “Big Idea” advertising – the “Marlboro Man” series being a classic example.

1950s advert for the film Barbarella

The Mad Men era was an innocent, in some ways more uncomplicated time – pre-Post-Feminism and political correctness.

1950s advert for Marlboro cigarettes

Most 21st century Americans would wince at using babies to flog cigarettes!

1950s advert for Gulf Oil

And no oil company today would have the nerve to use a whale to advertise oil!

1950s advert for Budweiser beer

The industry inevitably absorbed the social changes of the wider world – it began to recognise the strength of the “Black dollar”…

1950s advert for Cameo Stockings

…and with the expanding female workforce, the female dollar too.

1950s advert for Catalina Swimsuits

Other outside influences seemed to pass the advertising world by – there’s not much sign civil rights movement, student protests or the Vietnam War!

1960/70s advert with Twiggy modelling a maxi dress

The advertising hotbeds of New York, Chicago, Los Angeles &  San Francisco held onto a more idealistic view of the world, but their output still reflects many aspects of mid 20th century society.

1950s advert for fashion fabrics

There’s a really interesting 3-minute slideshow on the BBC website where Tashen America‘s executive editor, Jim Heimann describes the images and the role they played in shaping modern culture.

1950s advert for Colombia hi fi

There’s lots of great artwork, graphics, typography & photography to feast your eyes upon in the two volumes – over 600 pages in total!

1950s advert for blood

So treat yourself to a copy – or even better, put it on your birthday or Christmas pressie list. Then settle yourself into a comfy chair and wallow in all the mid century wonderfulness!!!

Mid-century Ads: Advertising from the Mad Men Era is available from Amazon and Hive

[Many thanks to Taschen for this review copy]