Although advertising has a history that goes back thousands of years, it is the Americans who have made it into an art form. Advertisements were put on everything from pocket mirrors to memo pads, the sides of barns to the sides of carriages and buses. A history of advertising printed in the 1880s even show and advertisement on a tombstone. With the advent of color lithography in the late 1800s, some of the most beautiful and highly collectible items were created. Tin signs with colorful, strong images, often embossed, were made for stores, and often found their way into homes. Paper advertising in calendars, trade cards, and posters reached new levels of artistry in the latter years of the 19th century. This new book explores advertising in all its media, tin, paper, celluloid, and enamel. In full color it portrays the creativity of its makers, while at the same time bringing to life the styles of the past 120 years. Included are signs, three dimensional designs, smalls, and novelties. With some tin signs bringing in excess of $100,000 (a Campbell Soup sign included in this book), it is clear that this is an active and exciting area for collectors.
At the same time, it is a good field for the new collector, who can find many pieces of advertising for under $50. Both ends of the spectrum are nicely covered in Antique advertising: America for Sale, making it an important book for all collectors.