Central Coast Paper Show

One may assume that a small room containing literally millions of postcards, comic books, pulp magazines, & excerpts from books that range vastly from the mid-18oo’s to the 1970s would be a chaotic, moldy labyrinth through time. Yet this was not the case at the postcard/collectibles show we attended this afternoon. All items at every booth were meticulously documented, filed, and archived. It was at this show that my appreciation for avid & obsessive collectors grew. I may renew and alter old objects to fit my current state of being, but collectors covet and protect the history of the objects. Collectors cherish the purity of objects in their original state, even if this can no longer be properly understood. The goodies I went away with today had a theme: overbearing institutions. Thus I picked up a ‘Brigham Young and His 21 Wives’ postcard, other Mormon/Utah postcards, State Penitentiary/Cemetery postcards, a 1894 Anarchist magazine, and a vintage Playboy.


Upon entering the crowded conference room of 611 Ocean St. I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of postcard and other vintage paper goods available for my viewing and purchasing pleasure.  Surrounded by seasoned aficionados, I felt like a bit of an amateur, but soon got over that.  It was a really friendly group of folks who just happened to be passionate about collecting beautiful old paper.  The prices ranged from 25 cents to over a hundred dollars per post card, and I did not even venture into the larger scale goods.  I can’t describe the feeling I get when i’m examining a piece of someone’s mail from 1908; it is fascinating not only for the beautiful images, but also for the often illegibly scribbled personal messages that have faded and yellowed over time (not to mention, the old postage stamps).  Needing to limit my scope of view, I browsed mainly San Francisco piles, but also found some amazing old photographs of Russian Tzars!  I could have spent hours and a lot of money in that conference room, but made out with just a few goodies which are shown above.



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