Sunday, January 10, 2010

airmail addiction: findings at the vintage paper fair

hitchcock, tx
the vintage paper fair, comes not once, but three times a year to san francisco. the main offering that dominates the tables are postcards which are sorted by categories from general topics like cats, to the obscure. it's also easy to see under glass, the valuable ephemera such as old books and carefully preserved photographs and other memorabilia.

but if you are an artist like me, and are on the look out for beautiful ephemera, there is plenty to go around. many vendors often display certain things while other items are under the tables or on top of shelves, tucked into corners or just are generally inconspicuous. i keep an eye out for old envelopes and photos. and everything i buy is very cheap.

i have a fascination with vintage mail, and what i look for is interesting stamps and postmarks and/or beautiful handwriting. often times i think that every envelope has a story of some kind. and if i get lucky there's a letter inside. most of them don't but i think even the surface is enough. i can imagine the story in a collage....

here's a few of my favorites:





these are definitely unique, most of the envelopes do not have red wax seals to them. both are from the 1970s & from nicaragua.


this envelope from africa is simple, & the real gem is the postage stamps.


i like the different markings and cross outs on this one, and of course the postmarks look great!


this fragile envelope crumbles at my touch. it's tearing at the address, which you have to look closely at the scan for, and the markings provide wonderful interest.

i find that i can easily spend several hours at the fair, just carefully sorting through envelopes and postcards, sifting through piles of old photos,and admiring the beauty of it all.

3 comments:

Mony said...

love these envelope!so vintage!

iHanna said...

A vintage paper fair? You're not making it up, that sounds like heaven to me! :-)

PostcardCollector.org said...

Did you go this year? How was it? I would love to hear more about the Vintage Paper Fair