A Kit of Pigeons--on eBay
Finding Treasure in Old Magazines
Fascinating items await discovery in old National Geographic magazines.
Fancying myself as a resurrector, if you will, of vintage ephemera--specifically, ads, prints, and articles--I've lost track of the number of antique NG pages I've sold from the 1920's, 1940's, 1950's, and, soon, from the 1930's.
Along the way, I've learned a great deal about a variety of things. This hobby/entrerpreneurial pursuit I've chosen in my own vintage years has rewarded me in ways that transcend personal finance. As I regularly include in my eBay listings, the reasons for collecting vintage paper are numerous and--may I add--even more valid and significant for the seller.
WHY COLLECT VINTAGE PRINTS?
- To preserve Americana
- To understand our heritage
- To appreciate our social, cultural, political, and economic roots
- To enhance our grasp of history
- To compare and contrast the past with the present
- To leave as a legacy for future generations
- To own as antique collectibles
- To acknowledge the art and artists of yesteryear
- To frame and craft into attractive gifts
- To utilize as decorative household pieces
- To buy, sell, and trade
- To enjoy a good return on investment
- To visually and emotionally revel in their pure aesthetic appeal
Resurrecting Old Paper
Due to a large acquisition of old National Geographic periodicals I'd made last fall, the passageway between the computer room and my bedroom/office had become a bit cluttered with the magazines bearing the familiar yellow and white covers.
Originally, one of the eBay niches I ventured into last year was the marketing of old magazines. Unfortunately--or, perhaps, providentially, some of the covers of the old magazines were coming loose even with gentle handling. Unable to sell such poor quality magazines, I pondered the possibility of selling the contents within.
Vision led to action.
Action taken turned into mistakes.
Lessons learned from those mistakes then shaped success.
Soon, I was seeing a trickle of sales coming in for the old-fashioned ads, prints, and multiple-paged articles. Up ahead? Hopefully, a deluge of orders.
So that's what I've been doing--and enjoying immensely--these past few months.
About a week ago, I discovered six double-sided print pages from a 1926 issue presenting the lovely prints--paintings from life, as NG referred to them--that had been crafted by the very talented Japanese-American artist, Hashime Murayama.
Murayama had an outstanding work ethic and produced the bulk of National Geographic's artwork from the 1920's until late 1941. His diligent research, keen eye for detail, and obsession with accuracy are reflected in his paintings.
Immediately following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the president and chief executive of the National Geographic Society, Gilbert M. Grosvenor, fired Hashime Murayama and told him to leave the building immediately. Grosvenor stated that he didn't want any enemy sympathizers on his staff.
It was an unfortunate act. Not much is documented in regards to how Hashime Murayama and his family fared. But we can certainly be grateful for the scores of Murayama's beautiful prints that graced the pages of National Geographic.
Twelve of his pigeon prints are featured here in the right margin. Starting at the top, the first and second pictures were opposite sides of the first color plate page; the third and forth were opposite sides of the second page, and so forth.
I listed all six pages with two respective photos for each listing. As of this writing, I've sold two pages (4 prints) at $9.98 per double-sided page--prints 1/2 and prints 3/4. The gorgeous prints virtually sold themselves.
I have much to be thankful for. But even if I were to walk away having learned only one important thing from the processing, marketing, selling, packaging, and shipping of these beautiful prints, it's this--
A group of pigeons is called a KIT!
My next project? Finding the KABOODLE!