Thursday, December 6, 2007

A New Elizabethan Age ~ 1953 Coronation Ads

The Coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on June 2nd, 1953 was celebrated not only in the United Kingdom, but around the globe. Advertisers took advantage of the occasion to ma
rk this important milestone, and to impress consumers with their loyalty and longtime contributions to the British wealth! A sampling of ads appearing the week of Elizabeth's Coronation follows...

▫ Coty Perfume ▫

"See the chariot at hand here of love
Wherein my lady rideth!

Each that draws is a swan or a dove

And well the car love guideth.

As she goes, all hearts do duty
Unto her beauty;

And enamoured do wish so they might

But enjoy such a sight,

Though they still were to run by her side,

Through swords, through seas, whither she would ride."

▫ Huntley & Palmers Biscuits ▫

This beautiful image of the interior of Westminster Abbey was published by Huntley & Palmers, a British firm of biscuit makers based in Reading, Berkshire. English 'biscuits' are known to Americans as 'cookies.' The company created one of the World's first global brands and ran what was once the world’s largest biscuit factory. Over the years, the company was also known as J. Huntley & Son and Huntley & Palmer. A business of the same name has recently been re-established in Sudbury in Suffolk. The gold seal in the top left reads: 'Loyal Greetings to HM Queen Elizabeth II' Purchase

▫ Ford Zephyr ▫

The Ford Zephyr was manufactured by the Ford Motor Company in the United Kingdom. The Zephyr and its luxury variant, the Zephyr Zodiac which appeared in 1955, were the largest passenger cars in the British Ford range from 1950 to 1971 before being replaced by a larger Ford Consul and Granada. This elegant ad entitled 'Ford Sets the Fashion' featured an evening gown designed by Ronald Paterson. Note the Royal Warrant of Appointment by the late King George VI prominently advertised in the upper left. Many of the ads featured here display such Warrants. See detailed examples below. Purchase

▫ Guerlain Perfume▫

Guerlain Fragrances, one of the oldest perfume houses in the world, was founded by designer Pierre-François Pascal Guerlain in Paris in 1828. Through the years Guerlain employed some of the world's top artists to design their bottles, as well as their advertising art. This stunning ad features a representation of the Guerlain perfume distillery on the Champs~ Élysées in 1840, with horse-drawn carriage heading toward l'Arc de Triomphe in the background. Though the ad does not specifically reference the Coronation, the carriage ride through Paris is vaguely reminiscent of the Queen's journey through London to Her Coronation ceremony. Purchase

▫ Booth's Dry Gin ▫

Booth's Gin is a popular brand of London dry gin, founded by the Booth family circa 1740. The distinctive bottle still boasts the Red Lion, a reference to the distillery where the beverage was originally produced. This regal ad expressed the optimism of a new era and a new Monarch...

"May the generous hope of peace and prosperity be the dominating note of Her reign!"


▫ Harrods ▫

The famous Harrods department store in London occupies more than one million square feet of floor space in some 300+ departments, making it one of the largest department stores in the world. The Harrods Group encompasses other enterprises including Harrods Bank, Harrods Estates, Harrods Casino, Harrods Aviation, and Air Harrods.

This enchanting ad from Elizabeth’s 1953 Coronation features a tapestry embroidered with historical landmarks from the British Empire… including the defeat of the Spanish Armada, and Drake’s Knighting. Purchase

▫ Daimler & Lanchester Motor Cars ▫

Lanchester Motor Company was a car manufacturer located at Armourer Mills in Great Britain from 1895-1956. Frederick Lanchester was one of the most influential automotive engineers of the 19th and 20th centuries. After merging with Daimler Motors in 1931, the Lanchester continued to produce popular cars until 1956, when the last model, the Sprite, was built. This colorful ad featuring British explorers trading with native peoples declared that 'Daimler skill goes on… into a New Elizabethan Era.' Unfortunately that new era quickly brought about the demise of the Lanchester automobile.

▫ Royal Warrants of Appointment ▫

Below are three examples of Royal Warrants displayed in several advertisements here. Royal Warrants are issued to companies who provide goods to the Royal family, and lends prestige to those holding the Warrant. From left to right: The Warrants of the Daimler Motor Company, Booths Gin Distillery, and Huntley & Palmers Biscuits, all issued by the late King George VI.

.(¯`'•.¸·:*¨¨*:·..·:*¨¨*:·.* ¸¸,ø¤º°`°º¤øø ... ¥ ... øø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸*: ·*¨¨*:·..·:*¨¨*:•.¸.•'´¯).

Most of the ads featured here, and many others, are available for purchase at 20th Century Art.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Lockheed Constellation

▫ Super Constellation ▫

Considered by many aviation buffs to be the most stylish and memorable airliner ever built, the Lockheed L-049 Constellation, also known as the Starliner, was originally conceived by Howard Hughs in the late 1930s, and designed by noted engineers Kelly Johnson and Hall Hibbard. Its maiden flight was January 9th, 1943, and it saw brief service as a military cargo transport near the end of WW II. But its claim to fame was its service as a commercial passenger airplane. Operated primarily by TWA airlines, the Constellation represented the ultimate in airline performance and luxury well into the 1950s, and was a popular choice for transatlantic travelers. It was the last of the great propeller-driven airliners... being displaced from service during the 1960's by faster, more reliable jet airliners. Of the 856 Constellations built, only five remain in service to this day. The 1953 advertisement pictured above features the L-1049 'Super-Constellation,' a stretched cargo version.

▫ Queen of the Skies ▫

The Constellation was notable for its unmistakable triple-tail design and dolphin-shaped fuselage. With the first pressurized cabin in widespread use, the Constellation, or "Connie", helped to usher in affordable and comfortable air travel for the masses.

TWA used its Starliners in premier long-distance runs, including its San Francisco to London "over the pole" service.

▫ The Leader to Paris ▫

TWA launched the first European flights, to Paris, in February 1946. This original 1946 ad from Time Magazine marked the occasion with a bit of poetry...

'swiftly your Constellation soars outward, swiftly over the rim of the North Atlantic, now racing with the turn of the earth - St. Malo off the starboard wingtip and Paris - proud Paris - on the horizon!'

This lovely image of
a Parisian flower maid, with the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel in the background and a Starliner cruising high overhead, will make a unique gift for your Francophile friends!

▫ The Leader to California ▫

Here's a wonderful ad featuring a Starliner above the coast of California...

'Westward slips your Constellation, its shadow fleeting on the nation's snowbound farms, humbling the great divide, gliding down Pacific slopes to find the suns and color of the Golden State!... Fly Lockheed Constellation... World Leader in Speed, Comfort, Safety.'

This stunning image featuring green palms and brightly colored Hispanic revelers against the blue of the Pacific will make a wonderful framed gift!

▫ The Joy's in the Journey ▫

Boulder dam as seen from the perspective of a Constellation!

'Here's where you enjoy the going as much as the getting there. Where the eye ranges far and the mind is free of earth-bound cares!'

To travel once in a great, swift Starliner is to know for all time why flying is the way to travel, and TWA the way to fly!'

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

McCall's Magazine Art & Advertising

▫ History of McCall's ▫

McCall's is known by many as one of the Seven Sisters of women's magazines, a group which includes Ladies Home Journal, Better Homes & Gardens, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, Woman's Day, and Family Circle. Advertisers were very fond of these magazines because of their demographic... middle and upper-middle class housewives, who often controlled the purse-strings and made many of the day-to-day buying decisions. Originally published by James and Belle McCall as a fashion illustration pamphlet in 1876, the magazine evolved and was officially named McCall's in 1897. One of the most popular features of the magazine are the many fashion patterns offered. These magazines are wonderful collectors items, and are full of great vintage ads, patterns and plates, and artwork by well-known artists of the times.

▫ Illustrator Malthe Hasselriis ▫

This brilliant blue print was featured in the Style and Beauty section of a 1933 issue of the McCall's. It was contributed by popular illustrator of the 30's, Malthe Hasselriis. While little biographical information is available for Hasselriis, he is probably best remembered for his illustrations of the book 'Tales of a Chinese Grandmother,' by Frances Carpenter. This captivating portrait of a woman with Japanese lanterns is one of my favorite McCall's images. Purchase

▫ Illustrator Eugene Iverd ▫

Eugene Iverd, pseudonym of George Erickson, was one of the most popular advertising illustrators of the 1920's. Some of his most well-known works appeared on Saturday Evening Post covers. He was also commissioned by Campbell's Soup, Monarch Foods, and other major brands of the period. The illustration at left appeared in a 1930's McCall's Homemaking section. This charming portrait of three youngsters skinny dipping is reminiscent of Norman Rockwell, an artist with whom Iverd is often compared. This piece is back in stock! It can be purchased here.

▫ McCall's Fashion Plates ▫

One of the most popular features of McCall's were the fashion illustrations that appeared in each issue. Many styles were original fashion patterns by noted designers, including Chanel and Lanvin. These patterns are popular collectors items for fashion students. They make for appealing wall art when matted and framed, and are appreciated and unusual gifts. For a complete selection of McCall's fashion plates please visit my online store. Purchase

▫ McCall's Advertisements ▫

Of course, each issue is full of wonderful vintage ads, such as this rare 50th anniversary back cover ad for Coca-Cola, celebrating 1886-1936...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Pontiac Wide-Track Wheels Series ~ 1959 & 1960

▫ A Car for the New Smart Set▫


"Come aboard a 1959 Pontiac and see why this rakish new automobile has been sailing away with the honors this year. Wide-Track Wheel design has played no small part and only Pontiac has it. Anchored, or in action, she's a trim car. Wide-Track Wheel design gives her a sleek, slender, harmonious appearance. She's balanced, not top-heavy, like conventional 'narrow gauge' cars. She a much discussed car, respected, admired and owned by a new smart set tuned to a new kind of automobile perspective."

▫ Introducing the 'Wide Track' ▫

1959 was a landmark year for GM's Pontiac division... as it marked the introduction of a new style... the 'Wide-Track' chassis. This bold styling trend employed a split grille theme, arrowhead emblem, and a new advertising slogan ~ "Wide-Track" or more precisely, "Wide-Track Wheels". The wide wheel base design was employed on three totally new series, the Bonneville, Catalina, and Star Chief. The next two years were witness to a variety of artistic and creative renderings of these automobiles in settings around the world, such as this luxury building with International flags, featuring an elegant creme '59 sedan. Purchase

▫ Bold New Styling ▫

The sleek and luxurious lines of this Wide-Track sedan could not be dampened by poor weather. The black of the umbrellas and yellows of the raincoats wonderfully frame this black '59 Bonneville. The split grille design prominently displayed in these ads remains a hallmark of Pontiac automobiles to this day. Purchase

▫ Emphasis on Luxury ▫

The Wide-Track design not only created an appealing, contemporary look, but also enhanced the performance, ride and handling of the vehicle... but style was usually emphasized over engineering in print advertising art, as demonstrated in this stunning orange ad featuring a Wide-Track outside the famed Shubert Theater. This ad is typical of the vivid and bold colors used to emphasize the modern styling and creativity behind this car, and with it the new decade of the 1960s. Purchase

The Classic Convertible ▫

What car set would be complete without the convertible? Losing the top accentuates the peculiar design of the Wide-Track. The car was much lower to the ground. The wing or fin swept back along the quarter panels, which added to a more streamlined effect. This Bonneville sported the newly designed full glass curved windshield. Purchase

▫ 1960 Bonneville Vista ▫

It's a pleasure to play host in a Wide-Track Pontiac! Pontiac owners could impress their guests with the cars new roominess and luxury... This '60 Vista offered more comfortable seats, added head and leg room, and wider doors for easier entry and exit. Faultless interior appointments, fashionably styled and carefully fitted. The trim body width puts more car between the wheels for greater balance and driving precision. Purchase

▫ Spirit of Creative Design▫

"Pontiac once again shuns the mediocre to create
the Fresh Point of View for 1960.
The prow is proud, pointedly tasteful, and exciting.
The horizontal bars of the grille suggest order.
There's a harmony in the profile,
A new-found freedom and grace, no meaningless adornment."

Be sure to browse all my Pontiac ads in my
eBay Classic Car Category!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Cruise Ship Ads ~ Famous Lines

▫ New... Andrea Doria ~ 1952 ▫

Wonderful art deco style ad by E. Patrone, an artist commissioned to do a series of advertising posters for the Italian Line. This advertisement from a French magazine announces the inaugural voyage of the Andrea Doria in December 1952... "le plus moderne transatlantique!"

▫ American Republics Line: 1937 ▫

See the Americas First! Via American Republics Line to Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina. Fortnightly sailings from New York. Here in fresh new splendor are three luxuriously modern express liners ~ that are now blazing a new trade and vacation trail to our neighbor republics beyond the equator!"

▫ Italian Line ~ 1938 ▫

Ocean Liner and Cruise Ship advertising was quite prevalent during the first half of the 1900s, before transatlantic airline travel was accepted as commonplace. Many of these ads appealed to the most affluent traveler... promoting the finer aspects of life aboard a luxury liner. Passengers on the 'Lido Deck' of the S.S. Rex were encouraged to lounge away the miles while enjoying the 'faultless courtesy of the finely dressed Italian camerieri.' Most Lines offered direct express travel to the Continent, or more leisurely trips with stops at popular ports. The 'Southern Route' allowed comfortably warm passage as early as March.

▫ French Line ~ 1953 ▫

Travelers on the French Line were promised fabulous cuisine prepared by famous French chefs, and wine from their famous cellars. The gala events aboard these liners rivaled those in New York or Paris high society... and travel by celebrities was often well advertised to encourage bookings. This artistic French Line ad promises... "every night is as exciting and carefree as Paris herself!"

▫ Andrea Doria ~ 1953 ▫

Many collect these ads to memorialize a particular cruise ship or line on which they or their parents traveled. Not surprisingly, some of the most popular ads are for ships that met unfortunate fates, such as the famous Andrea Doria. I've located a particularly beautiful Andrea Doria ad from 1953 (right), published several years before her sinking. The ad is frequently in and out of stock in my store. Please email directly if not available.

▫ 1946 Matson Pacific Line ▫

Stunning image of 1946 Matson Liner on the Southern Pacific Route... with ports of call in Hawaii, Samoa, Fiji, New Zealand and Australia.

▫ White Star ~ S.S. Queen Elizabeth ▫

With her maiden voyage in 1940, the Queen Elizabeth, along with sister ship Queen Mary, was first drafted for wartime service as a troop transport. Post-war, she began a routine service between New York and Southampton for nearly 30 years and was for decades the largest passenger liner ever built. She could accommodate nearly 2,300 passengers and over 1,000 crew. Together with the Queen Mary, this great liner helped Cunard White Star dominate transatlantic travel into the 1960s, rivaled only by the S.S. United States.

Be sure to browse all my Cruise Ship ads in my eBay Cruise Line Category!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Art Deco Advertising ~ Guerlain Perfume Ads

▫ 1938 ▫

Lady Liberty or evil enchantress? This stunning 1938 advertisement for Guerlain's Vega perfume may leave you wondering.

This captivating art deco image by Darcy has been featured in art history books such as Taschen's All-American Ads Series. Guerlain Fragrances, one of the oldest perfume houses in the world, was founded by designer Pierre-François Pascal Guerlain in Paris in 1828.

▫ 1949▫

Through the years Guerlain has employed some of the world's top artists to design their bottles, as well as their advertising art. Darcy continued to create Guerlain ads... as seen in this brilliant blue and lavender ad from 1949 with the caption... Fleur de Feu. The literal translation is "Flower of Fire."

All of our fragrance ads can be viewed by clicking here.

Monday, September 3, 2007

The "Famous Rooms Series" ~ 1953 Hilton Ads

▫ The Empire Room at the Palmer House ▫

Relive cherished moments from the early 1950's with the "Famous Rooms in Hilton Hotels" series... a great set for collectors. Included are the Roosevelt Grill at New York's Hotel Roosevelt, the Starlight Roof at the Waldorf Astoria, Chicago's Empire Room (left), the Pool Terrace at the Caribe in San Juan, Washington DC's Mayflower Presidential Dining Room or the distinguished Oak Room at New York's Plaza.

▫ The Oak Room at the Plaza ▫

In these famous ballrooms and restaurants, the elite would gather for exquisite cuisine, delightful music, power networking, or simply the chance to be seen among the society set. This series was symbolic of Hilton's prized reputation across the nation. These colorful pages will make a fine addition to any vintage ad collection.

Several Hilton "Famous Rooms" ads are available for sale in my eBay Store Hilton Hotels Category.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The "Jewels Series" ~ Cadillac Ads

▫ 1953 Jewels by Harry Winston ▫

This wonderful ad is one of a lengthy Cadillac 'Jewels Series' that ran from the late 1940's until the early 1960's, associating the Cadillac brand with the finest of luxury. The notable feature of each ad is an elegant necklace, bracelet, or broach with a precious gem forming a Cadillac "V" which beautifully frames the wreath and crest. This 1953 "Jewel" ad for the new convertible reads, in part... "for, beyond Cadillac, there is only the future. Those who want the finest want - the Standard of the World!" Jewels by Harry Winston.

▫ 1953 Jewels by Van Cleef & Arpels ▫

I've got several other Jewel ads in my collection... including this stunning green 1953 Cadillac with turquoise necklace by Van Cleef & Arpels, 1949 and 1962 ads featuring Jewels by Cartier, and more! These are always among my favorite classic car ads.

You can find other Cadillac ads in my Classic Car category.

Or explore the eBay widget below...

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Condition and Grading

Unlike coin or stamp collecting, there is no officially recognized authority to provide standards for collectible magazines and magazine advertisements. I grade my clipped advertising using a derivation of the Overstreet Standard, the widely accepted standard for grading of collectible comic books. These standards can be reviewed in depth by referring to the Official Overstreet Comic Book Grading Guide, 2nd edition, released in 2002.

My clipped advertisments are graded in one of five general categories based on the 25 more detailed Overstreet grades: Mint, Near Mint, Fine or Excellent, Good and Fair. Here's a brief summary of these grades.

Near perfect in every way. A grade of mint means that the magazine appears to have never been touched by human hands and shows no signs of aging. Since clipped ads, by definition, alter the original product, I reserve this grade for complete magazines only.

Nearly perfect with only minor imperfections. Near mint describes ads that appear to be in the original pristine condition. However, on closer examination signs of aging and human handling become evident.

An above-average copy that shows only minor wear. Fine describes ads that have obviously been handled in the past and may have some noticeable signs of aging, but are free of major defects.

Shows obvious signs of wear and tear but is generally quite suitable for framing and display.

Shows heavy wear. Fair condition or worse describes ads that are usually of no interest to collectors, but may have sentimental or artistic value to the owner and are generally still suitable for display.

For a detailed description of my grading standards, please visit my Condition and Grading web page!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Arabs & Ice Cream: 1953 American Airlines Ad

I doubt many marketing experts would recommend using Middle Easterners in an Airline ad these days... which makes this 1953 American Airlines ad all the more valuable.

There's something strangely humerous about the juxtaposition of bicycle ice-cream vendor and camels. Some may find it a bit unsettling.

It's worthy of a notable mention at least.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Flying Car: 1959 Power Company Ad

This wonderful black and white ad appeared in Time Magazine in spring of 1959. It features a happy mother cruising home in her futuristic flying car with her young daughter, groceries and family dog in tow. The caption reads...

"Your Personal Flying Carpet." Step into it, press a button, and off you go to market, to a friend's home, or to your job. Take off and land anywhere; no parking problems. Plug in to any electric outlet for recharging. They're working on it!

Okay, so we're still a long way off from flying cars. And notice the creators didn't quite foresee child safety seat laws, either. But they did predict the inevitable shift from gasoline to electric vehicles. I'll give them one star for accuracy... five stars for the Jetson family appeal!

Boat in the Basement: 1951 Brown & Root Ad

"Ever build a boat in a basement? Experience is a great teacher!"

Here's the classic story of the lack of foresight... the man who built a boat in his basement! Who couldn't sympathize with this poor guy, being scolded by his wife and consoled by his son!
What a perfect advertisement for the Brown & Root Construction and Engineering Company in Houston, TX.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Welcome to 20th Century Art

Welcome to my vintage ads blog, your complete source for information and discussion of vintage print advertising, collectible paper and ephemera from the 1900's. Feel free to post your comments, questions, or experiences... or to browse my complete collection of vintage ads at my eBay store!
This is one of my favorite classic car ads... a 1940 La Salle. The colors are striking. And the geese flying just overhead are a great touch. They seem to be having trouble keeping up with this speeding antique automobile! This ad originally appeared in Life Magazine in November 1939.