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Advertising, Paper & Ephemera

People have bought and sold goods since ancient times, and they have advertised their goods for sale for just as long. Ancient Egyptians used steel carvings and papyrus signs to advertise their wares. Romans put up posters on walls to advertise gladiator events, and in the Middle Ages, town criers would call out when and where local open markets would be held.

Advertising changed dramatically with the invention of the printing press around 1440. Print advertising suddenly became affordable, allowing businesses to reach many more people through newspapers and fliers than they ever had before. Classified ads first appeared in 1631 in France, and in 1891, Sears ran the first direct marketing campaign in when it mailed postcards to 8,000 potential customers.

Those who collect advertising memorabilia are often particularly interested in promotional products including souvenirs or household items that include a brand logo, like Budweiser neon lights or the Buddy Lee jeans doll.

Collectors of ephemera, items that were only meant to be used for a short time, often bid on paper collectibles such as letters, tickets, stereopticon cards, labels, and greeting cards, including valentines. Letters, cards, airline tickets, stock certificates, and more specialized vintage paper items like ancient scrolls can also be categorized as ephemera in the collecting world. The highest price ever paid for a letter at auction was $6 million in 2013. It was written by Francis Crick, one of the co-discoverers of the nature of DNA, to his son Michael, explaining the "secret of life."

Recommended Items at Auction

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1999 JAPANESE TYPHLOSION HOLO CGC 10 PRISTINE
Jun 02, 9:00 PM EDT
1999 JAPANESE TYPHLOSION HOLO CGC 10 PRISTINE
by Gem-Mint Auctions, LLC.
Est: $10- $100
$3014 Bids
Marlboro red ceramic ashray (L:11cm)
May 23, 1:00 PM AEST
Marlboro red ceramic ashray (L:11cm)
by Lawsons
Est: AUD60- AUD80
AUD15012 Bids
A Collection of Six Japanese Pokemon Cards, Including Foil Charizard EX, Ancient Mew & 1996 Series Cards.
May 30, 6:00 PM AEST
A Collection of Six Japanese Pokemon Cards, Including Foil Charizard EX, Ancient Mew & 1996 Series Cards.
by Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: AUD60- AUD80
AUD8011 Bids
A Large Collection of Magic the Gathering The Lord of The Rings Trading Cards, Including Many Foil and Rare Cards (Approx 170 Cards)
May 30, 6:00 PM AEST
A Large Collection of Magic the Gathering The Lord of The Rings Trading Cards, Including Many Foil and Rare Cards (Approx 170 Cards)
by Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: AUD80- AUD120
AUD11011 Bids
A Hand-Painted Canvas Louis Vuitton Advertising Panel
May 22, 10:00 AM EDT
A Hand-Painted Canvas Louis Vuitton Advertising Panel
by Hindman
Est: $500- $700
$85010 Bids
bp parity badge
1996 MAGIC THE GATHERING 4TH EDITION CARDS ~500
Jun 01, 1:00 PM EDT
1996 MAGIC THE GATHERING 4TH EDITION CARDS ~500
by Florida Estate Sales Inc.
Est: $250- $10,000
$1209 Bids
A Large Collection of Magic the Gathering Trading Cards, 1995-2023 Including Many Foil and Rare Cards (Approx 140 Cards)
May 30, 6:00 PM AEST
A Large Collection of Magic the Gathering Trading Cards, 1995-2023 Including Many Foil and Rare Cards (Approx 140 Cards)
by Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: AUD60- AUD80
AUD608 Bids
Assorted Magic The Gathering Trading Cards
May 25, 10:00 AM MST
Assorted Magic The Gathering Trading Cards
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$658 Bids
Complete Run of 1935 Baseball Magazines
May 30, 11:00 AM EDT
Complete Run of 1935 Baseball Magazines
by Bodnar's Auction Sales
Est: $75- $150
$1107 Bids
Group of Twenty Eight Peanut Advertising Tins
May 21, 10:00 AM EDT
Group of Twenty Eight Peanut Advertising Tins
by Schwenke Auctioneers
Est: $200- $300
$1757 Bids
2007 Rittenhouse Marvel Spider-Man 3 Master Set
Jun 05, 10:00 AM EDT
2007 Rittenhouse Marvel Spider-Man 3 Master Set
by Weiss Auctions
Est: $4,000- $6,000
$1207 Bids
(108) High Grade Pokemon Cards
May 20, 2:00 PM EDT
(108) High Grade Pokemon Cards
by Saco River Auction
Est: $50- $100
$557 Bids
Duke's Mixture SST Sign
Jun 10, 5:00 PM EDT
Duke's Mixture SST Sign
by Atlee Raber Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$456 Bids
114 - 1985 Topps Garrbage Pail Kids Series 2 Cards with Live Mike Backs
May 25, 9:00 AM CDT
114 - 1985 Topps Garrbage Pail Kids Series 2 Cards with Live Mike Backs
by Matthew Bullock Auctioneers
Est: $60- $100
$906 Bids
A Large Collection of Magic the Gathering Trading Cards, Including Many Foil and Rare Cards (Approx 150 Cards)
May 30, 6:00 PM AEST
A Large Collection of Magic the Gathering Trading Cards, Including Many Foil and Rare Cards (Approx 150 Cards)
by Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: AUD60- AUD80
AUD556 Bids
2011 Rittenhouse Marvel Universe Master Set
Jun 05, 10:00 AM EDT
2011 Rittenhouse Marvel Universe Master Set
by Weiss Auctions
Est: $5,000- $10,000
$356 Bids
2008 Rittenhouse Marvel Iron Man Master Set
Jun 05, 10:00 AM EDT
2008 Rittenhouse Marvel Iron Man Master Set
by Weiss Auctions
Est: $8,000- $12,000
$1106 Bids
Lot of Monsters Magazines - Mostly 1960's
May 29, 11:00 AM EDT
Lot of Monsters Magazines - Mostly 1960's
by Bodnar's Auction Sales
Est: $75- $150
$606 Bids
Vintage Coca-Cola Cast Iron Fountain Service Sign
May 25, 10:00 AM MST
Vintage Coca-Cola Cast Iron Fountain Service Sign
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$406 Bids
(3pc) Vintage Nourse Oil Cans
May 25, 10:00 AM MST
(3pc) Vintage Nourse Oil Cans
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$506 Bids
Lot of 3 vintage Sunshine Beer advertising signs
May 25, 10:00 AM EDT
Lot of 3 vintage Sunshine Beer advertising signs
by TEG Auction Gallery
Est: $70- $154
$756 Bids
Lot of 13 Vintage Baseball Magazines - 1933 and 1934
May 30, 11:00 AM EDT
Lot of 13 Vintage Baseball Magazines - 1933 and 1934
by Bodnar's Auction Sales
Est: $50- $100
$705 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Advertising, Paper & Ephemera


Milestone Auctions

Milestone Auctions

Atlee Raber Auctioneer

Atlee Raber Auctioneer

Caff's Collectibles

Caff's Collectibles

Connoisseur Online

Connoisseur Online