Advertising Collectibles

Advertising premiums such as calendars and thermometers arrived on the scene by the 1880s. Die-cut point-of purchase displays, wall clocks and signs were eagerly displayed. The advertising character was developed in the early 1900s. By the 1950s, the star endorser was firmly established. Advertising became a big business as specialized firms, many headquartered in New York City, developed to meet manufacturers’ needs. Today television programs frequently command well over $100,000 a minute for commercial air time.

Many factors affect the price of an advertising collectible: the product and its manufacturer; the objects or persons used in the advertisement; the period and aesthetics of design; the designer and/or illustrator; and the form the advertisement takes. Almost every advertising item is sought by a specialized collector in one or more collectibles areas.

References: Michael Bruner, “Advertising Clocks,” Schiffer Publishing, 1995; Michael Bruner, “Encyclopedia of Porcelain Enamel Advertising,” 2nd Edition, Schiffer Publishing, 1999; Michael Bruner, “More Porcelain Enamel Advertising,” Schiffer Publishing, 1997; Douglas Congdon-Martin, “America For Sale: A Collector’s Guide to Antique Advertising,” Schiffer Publishing, 1991; Douglas Congdon-Martin, “Tobacco Tins,” Schiffer Publishing, 1992; Fred Dodge, “Antique Tins (1995, 1999 value update), Book II” (1998), Book III (1999), Collector Books. Ted Hake, “Hake’s Guide to Advertising Collectibles,” Wallace-Homestead, Krause Publications, 1992; Sharon and Bob Huxford, “Huxford’s Collectible Advertising,” Third Edition (1997), Fourth Edition (1998), Collector Books; Jim and Vivian Karsnitz, “Oyster Cans,” Schiffer Publishing, 1993; Ray Klug, “Antique Advertising Encyclopedia,” Schiffer Publishing, 1997; “Letter Openers: Advertising & Figural,” L-W Book Sales, 1996; Linda McPherson, “Modern Collectible Tins,” Collector Books, 1998; Robert Reed, “Paper Advertising Collectibles: Treasures from Almanacs to Window Signs,” Antique Trader Books, 1998; B. J. Summers, “Value Guide to Advertising Memorabilia,” Second Edition, Collector Books, 1999; David Zimmerman, “The Encyclopedia of Advertising Tins, Vol. I (1994) and Vol. II (1998),” Collector Books.

— Harry L. Rinker

“Official Price Guide to Collectibles”

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