Category Archives: Ephemera Collection

British Cigarette Card Collection

C1:003 
ca. 1910–1939
1 album, 7.5 x 9 inches; 360 cards


C1:003  British Cigarette Card Collection

With the invention of wrapping machines in the 19th century, pieces of plain card were used as protective stiffeners to protect the contents of paper packages. By the late 1870s in the United States, Allen & Ginter were embellishing these inserts with advertisements and illustrations. This quickly became an efficient and creative means of cultivating brand loyalty, and the practice spread rapidly to Great Britain and other foreign manufacturers. By the 1890s, many of the larger British tobacco companies were issuing cards, and they soon progressed to series on particular themes: actresses, soldiers, ships, kings and queens, etc.

The outbreak of war in 1914 inspired many patriotic card issues. Multiple influences were at work: the spontaneous expression of national pride; a desire to help the war effort; an insatiable public craving for news, particularly good news and information; a wish to glorify the heroism of British forces; and a determination to demonstrate the supporting role of civilians on the home front. Three of the seven sets in the British Cigarette Card Collection represent this time period: Army Life (October 1910), Regimental Uniforms (July 1912 and July 1914), and Military Motors (October 1916).

The popularity of cigarette cards grew during the 1920s and 1930s. Many of the sets issued during this time were reissues of earlier series with a timeless appeal. Drum Banners & Cap … more

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J. Bohannan Poster and Drawing Collection

D1: 001
1989–2010
Mixed materials—including vintage prints, color snapshots, oil studies, finished drawings, process drawings, ink-jet printouts, flyers, and posters—ranging in size from 2 x 3 to 26 x 36 inches


D1:001  J. Bohannan Poster and Drawing Collection

Richmond-based painter J. Bohannan was born in New York City in 1950 and moved with his family at age two to Hilton Village, Newport News, and later, as a teenager, to Hopewell. After studying art at the Richmond Professional Institute (now Virginia Commonwealth University) in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Bohannan worked as a salesman in his father’s art supply store, selling his own original artwork on the side. By his own admission, his paintings of the time were derivative of the European high art and contemporary abstraction he had studied at RPI. Then one day he picked up a copy of Matthew Baigell’s The American Scene: American Painting of the 1930s (1974) from a discount book bin. Until then, Bohannan says, he had never really seen, much less studied, modern American painting, despite four years of formal art education.

Working alongside street artists in Verona and Munich, copying famous Caravaggios and Bouchers in pastel on public sidewalks, Bohannan developed a passion for “plastic realism,” embedding human forms in visual space in a way that is, as Bohannan puts it, “more there than right”—that is, more materially present than technically correct. After his return to Virginia from Europe, Bohannan began developing … more

Carney Christie Scrapbook and Ephemera Collection

C1: 123
ca.1900–1930
Four scrapbook albums, two photograph albums with 200+ photos, mixed ephemera 


C1:123  Carney Christie Scrapbook and Ephemera Collection


C1:123  Carney Christie Scrapbook and Ephemera Collection

Unlike many of our Prints and Photographs Collections holdings, which derive from individual artists, photographers, and agencies, the Carney Christie Collection derives from many sources—family photos, postcards, handwritten correspondence (on hotel stationary), theater programs, newspaper clippings, and other ephemera—which dovetail into a mixed media portrait of an individual man. 

A graduate of Staunton Military Academy, the actor Carney Pitcher Christie (1887–1932) gained early and enduring professional success on Broadway, perfecting the role of Pietro in Edward Locke’s comedy The Climax. Christie was the son of a prominent West Virginia druggist and brother to Mary Christie, a music teacher and sought-after pianist (and presumed assembler of the materials in our collection) with whom he often collaborated on popular “interpretive recitals” of Shakespeare, Sheridan, and Thomas Nelson Page. The family maintained residences in Richmond and Brooklyn, and a summer home in the resort town of Palmer Lake, Colorado, and Christie corresponded with them, especially Mary, during his theatrical tours all over the United States. According to one theater reviewer, he was “the very incarnation of buoyant youth.” About 1928, however, a “nervous collapse” forced Christie to quit touring and instead teach acting at the Leland Powers School in Boston. He later moved to Richmond to live with his sister’s family, where he died of a heart attack in 1932 at age 45. … more

Through Virginia, 1935: A Scrapbook of a Trip Through Virginia, Washington DC and Pennsylvania

C1: 097
1935
1 album, 12 x 17 inches, 40 pages, 130 photographs, mixed ephemera


C1:097  Through Virginia, 1935: A Scrapbook of a Trip Through Virginia, Washington DC and Pennsylvania.

“Through Virginia, 1935” was assembled, we speculate, by one of a group of three female auto tourists to commemorate their journey in the autumn of 1935.  The album is a virtual collage of ephemera from the period, intermingling personal photographs with postcards and brochures from various chambers of commerce promoting all manner of historic, industrial, recreational, and natural attractions.   The album not only brings together diverse ephemera from a particular historic moment in modern Virginia, it reveals the tourist’s desire to capture the experience of the road trip itself. The Virginia leg of this trip, including Richmond, Charlottesville, Virginia Beach, Hampton Roads, Fredericksburg, and Alexandria, occupies the bulk of the album, and includes original photos—extreme close-ups—of cotton and peanuts (southern novelties to a northern tourist) and the “old slave block” in Fredericksburg. A brochure proudly advertises Shenandoah Caverns as the only caves in the state with elevator service. In one instance, there are no fewer than six different brochures for Natural Bridge on a single page.  There are also many photos from the D.C. area, including Washington’s tomb, the Lincoln Memorial, the Franciscan Monastery, “bird’s eye” shots from the top of the Washington Monument, and more “vacationy” pictures of the women goofing off on the plinths of the Capitol in a manner that would now be inconceivable.


C1:097  Through Virginia, 1935: A Scrapbook of a Trip Through Virginia, Washington DC and Pennsylvania.


C1:097  Through Virginia, 1935: A Scrapbook of a Trip Through Virginia, Washington DC and Pennsylvania.

While the identities … more

Life Scenes of a Confederate Soldier

C1: 011
ca.1865
12 lithographic cards, 2 x 3 inches


C1: 011  Life Scenes of a Confederate Soldier  (LVA  11_1148_002)


C1: 011  Life Scenes of a Confederate Soldier  (LVA  11_1148_004)

The mild pastels of these lithographic novelty cards belie their content, which is uncharacteristically downbeat for Southern wartime images. They feature Dixie caricatures populating scenes of defeat and despair, such as a man in gray—who appears to be lonesome, cold, and hungry—reminiscing about the “good times” of 1861. Most of these “life scenes” are not historically specific. “A Flank Movement” visually puns military action, showing a hungry soldier armed with a stiletto stalking an oblivious pig. “Heroes Still,” apparently a post-War scene, or one anticipating the fruits of pursuing a lost cause, shows humbled white Southerners tilling their own fields. Other scenes include “In a Bad Place,” “First Winter,” “Homesick,” “In the Trenches,” “The Vidette,” “The Camp Darkey,” “Following Stonewall,” and a sea battle captioned “No. 290.” The cards were originally held together into a dainty, homemade fascicle, fashioned from sackcloth, which includes the handwritten title of the collection along with an almost indecipherable name written in pencil: “Hope Stewart.” C1: 011  Life Scenes of a Confederate Soldier (LVA 11_1148_001)C1: 011  Life Scenes of a Confederate Soldier  (LVA  11_1148_003)

Provenance:
Donated, 1951

References:
Six of the images were reproduced in Cavalcade (winter, 1951).… more

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Dugald Stewart Walker Bookplate Collection

C1: 107
1920s–1930s
22 plates 


C1:107 Dugald Stewart Walker Bookplate Collection  (LVA 10_1319_008)

Failed insurance salesman Dugald Stewart Walker (1883–1937), a native Richmonder and self-styled eccentric very much in artistic and cultural sympathy with the British aesthetes of a generation before, studied drawing at the University of Virginia and the New York School of Art, and was by the late 1920s internationally renowned as both a fine artist and popular illustrator of children’s books. While his gallery work was praised in the museums of London, Paris, and Rome, Walker’s elegant grotesqueries fared poorly back home in Depression-era Richmond—though he was keenly sought after as a bookplate designer by the Richmond and New York elite.                                                                        

With striking black-and-white prints reminiscent of the work of Aubrey Beardsley but distinctly his own, Walker created a whimsical, slightly sinister, and technically precise “Once Upon a Time” world of pleasure gardens, peacocks, satyrs, clowns, archers, and mounted knights. Often in his bookplates the highly personalized iconography of client preference is brought to bear on quaint themes and high modernist design. In the plate for the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research, for example, delicately rendered chemistry beakers positioned above a “window” become, in their self-mirroring symmetry, a kind of ornamental pediment. In another plate, otherwise naturalistic boxers, poised for battle, become pilaster-like ornaments on either side of a monumental baroque doorway through which lovers can be glimpsed embracing in a glade. Perhaps the strangest item in this collection … more

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O. L. Schwencke Cigar Box Label Collection

C1: 004
ca. 1890
74 chromolithographs in original bound volume, 6.5 x 10 inches


C1:104 O. L. Schwencke Cigar Box Label Collection  (LVA 11_0696_009)

With the extraordinary popularity of cigars in late-nineteenth century America, and the consequent birth of the cigar-box-label salesman, came colorful catalogs and sample books, of which ours is an intact example, “showcasing” the variety of label designs available to cigar manufacturers and merchants. By the early 1880s most label production had shifted from small towns to large specialty printing firms on the east coast, among these the Manhattan-based O. L. Schwencke, begun in 1884 and absorbed by Moehle Lithographic Co. in 1900. Done in luxurious chromolithography, the embossed labels in our Schwencke sample book contrast scenes of leisure, privilege, and high sophistication, such as operagoing and pleasure-boating, with a dizzying array of images to appeal to all manner of disposition and fantasy: sentimental courtships and family tableaux, patriotic allegories, scenes of foreign travel, sportsmanship, war, adventure, and industry, elaborate and indecipherable insignia, exotic animals and cherubs, caricatures of Arabs and Native Americans, mildly sexualized women, and American playboys and tycoons. These scenes usually appear under very broad legends such as “Leader,” “Beauty,” and “Peerless,” with more specific-sounding legends such as “Santiago,” “La Rosa Especial,” and “La Amenidad” posing as exotic brand names but in fact easily mapped over whatever generic cigar the merchant or manufacturer might have had on hand or been eager to push on customers. One label, “Life Saver,” … more

Fan District Association Poster and Ephemera Collection

C1: 128
ca. 1960-2003
36 posters, 5 house-finding guides, and related ephemera. Posters range in size from 11 x 17 to 22 x 27 inches.

 


C1:128  Fan District Association Poster and Ephemera Collection  (LVA 10_0647_030)

Known for its architecturally eclectic early-twentieth-century townhomes and picturesque shady streets, Richmond’s Fan District is an 85-block residential neighborhood immediately west of the downtown commercial area. The Fan District Association Poster and Ephemera Collection includes many of the creative and memorable marketing campaigns for the Holiday House Tour and a variety of similar community events. Included among the posters are designs by Perrine, Kennedy & Green Advertising; Reed Advertising & Marketing; the King Agency; and the Martin Agency. Also included in the collection are house-finding guides and ticket stubs from the Holiday House Tour. 

 

Arrangement and access:   Chronological  

Provenance:   Gift of Fan District Association, 2009

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Allen & Ginter’s Cigarette Card Album of Quadrupeds

C1: 042
ca. 1880s
1 volume, 10 pages


C1:042  Allen & Ginter’s Cigarette Card Album of Quadrupeds  (LVA 11_0696_011)

The collectible cigarette card, as a cultural phenomenon, originated in Richmond in 1875, created as a marketing tool by the Richmond-based tobacco manufacturer Allen & Ginter. Cigarette cards were among the first items of ephemera produced specifically for collecting and trading, to be used as proof of purchase for promotional giveaways and, in the long term, to cultivate brand loyalty. Premium albums of this type are much rarer than the individual tobacco cards and were available from the tobacco company issuing the cards in exchange for a complete set of the individual cards or in exchange for coupons issued with the cigarettes. While the tobacco cards were free in packs of cigarettes or tobacco, these albums had to be purchased (or stamps had to be sent in for postage charges).  By late in the nineteenth century, the production of cigarette cards had become an industry in itself, practically independent of its tobacco-based origins.

The album, featuring lithography by Lindner, Eddy & Clauss and published by Allen & Ginter, seems to have educational aspirations, though it has a sometimes whimsical sense of geography, suggesting that kangaroos can be found in India, and it mischaracterizes primates as quadrupeds. The album is also, to a modern sensibility, startlingly violent. The cover illustration, for starters, shows a desert with Bedouins C1:042  Allen & Ginter’s Cigarette Card Album of Quadrupeds  (LVA 11_0696_012)on camel and horseback violently stealing lion cubs and slaughtering their … more

Miller & Rhoads Stock Certificate Collection

C1: 120
1906
16 stock certificates

On February 19, 1906, twenty-one years after it began in Richmond as a dry goods shop, Miller & Rhoads department store was legally incorporated with the issue of sixteen stock certificates, representing a total of 350 one-thousand dollar shares, combined holdings of $350,000 against an authorized Capital Stock of $500,000. Miller & Rhoads, Inc., would go on to become an anchor of Richmond’s economy, making a name for itself as “the largest department store in the South,” combining genteel service with sophisticated taste.


C1:120    Miller & Rhoads Stock Certificate, issued to L.O. Miller, Februrary 19, 1906.  (LVA 10_1319_012)

The founding certificates were issued as follows: nos. 1–7 to president Linton Miller, 8–14 to treasurer Webster Rhoads, and 15 and 16 to secretary A. B. Laughon. The ornate certificate templates were printed locally at Southern Stamp and Stationery Co., and feature large embossed seals. All are “cancelled” in various handwritings.

Arrangement and access:
Numerical by certificate

Provenance:
Purchased, date unknown