Daily Archives: January 20, 2012

Collecting Salem on Etsy

Time for another Etsy post, motivated by finding one of my very favorite Salem books on the site:  Salem Interiors by Samuel Chamberlain (1895-1975).  Chamberlain was a Marblehead-based photographer, artist and author, whose books of New England photographs are now classics–and very collectible.  The 1950 edition on Etsy looks like it is in great condition and is very reasonably priced.  Just click on the image (and those following) and you’ll get to the Etsy listing.

I’m not one to promote Salem witch items, but there is an amazing collectible plate on Etsy right now:  an early (circa 1900) souvenir plate rimmed with 18 little witches made by the Petersyn Company of Passaic, New Jersey.  For a witch plate, this one is quite charming, relatively rare, and well-priced. This is one of the earliest porcelain expressions of “Witch City”.

There are some lovely Hawthorne editions on Etsy now, including several that are very collectible, like a 1930s edition of Tanglewood Tales with illustrations by the short-lived artist Virginia Francis Sterrett, whose flying dragon seems like a good companion for the Salem witches.

Lots of carte-de-visite and cabinet cards from Salem’s many turn-of-the-century photographers:  a “young dark-eyed woman in a walking suit” taken by the Cook Photograph Studio in the 1890s, a “beautiful Victorian woman in a romantic, angelic pose” from the 1880s, and a “lambchop whiskered” man (love these Etsy descriptive titles!) photographed by the Bonsley and Moulton Studio. I tend to like the typography as much (or more) as the photography.

Vintage Game collectors can always find Parker Brothers products on Etsy.  I have never seen or heard of this “reading” game called Peter Coddle’s Trip to New York but it looks interesting, and I’m intrigued by all these scraps of ephemeral paper; it’s a miracle they survived this long.

And finally, some amazing pieces of advertising ephemera:  three advertising fans, in French, for the Peabody’s Dry and Fancy Goods Bazaar in downtown Salem.  Salem had a large and growing French-Canadian population in the first half of the nineteenth century, and I suppose this was the target audience for the fans, which feature a stag, a pony, and (of course), a kitten.

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