I love ephemera! By that term, I mean things that were produced for a single use, or for short term enjoyment, before being discarded or thrown away. They are literally ‘ephemeral’, which is where the term is obviously derived from. Good examples are tickets, flyers and similar promotional material, or even things like ‘sample cups’ produced by brands such as Coca Cola so you can taste their world-famous drink. Ephemera is typically made from paper or card, and is usually printed. It also often has a strong social history element. Even if I can’t find anything of interest to buy for stock or my collection in an antiques shop, centre or antiquarian bookshop, I nearly always find something interesting to buy in a basket or box full of photos and such papery things. A good example is this ticket, which I found on a recent visit to Henley-on-Thames, where I stumbled across the truly excellent Richard Way Books. Although there were plenty of books I could have bought, my budget was tight and I decided on some ephemera …

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“Mid-century modern. Give me a break. It’s soooo last year” A largely incorrect phrase I hear disturbingly often. So you wouldn’t think yet another book should be published on the subject. Well, think again. Mid-century modern maven Catriona Gray has teamed up with Octopus Books to produce a unique compilation of original period photographs plundered from the influential House & Garden magazine. Add to that a foreword by the legendary Sir Terence Conran, and you have a book that is sure to delight everyone from interior designers to hardcore design collectors. Rather than present the furniture, furnishings and decorative objects of the day floating against a white background and allied with explanatory text about designers and styles, the colourful photographs in this book allow you to see how these pieces were grouped together in domestic interiors. This is important for a number of reasons. Firstly it allows us to see how the designers and stylists of the day intended pieces to work together. How many vases to display on a shelf? Where were they …

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