Collecting Paper Ephemera

Ephemera is a word used by appraisers often to cover those objects that don’t fit into general categories such as fine and decorative art or glass and porcelain and can be grouped together as everything left over or oddities needing valuation to finalize an estate or collection value.
In the matter of paper ephemera we are referring primarly to magazines, comic books and even dime store novels and other similar publications that were meant to be read and then disposed of later. Much of this material when first published did not register among the balance of the collecting public and endless stories exist of people who bought every issue of Superman or Mad Magazine in their youth only to discover that their parents had thrown them away years later. Today collecting of paper ephemera has become a major field driven by the Baby Boomer generation as well as those born in the 60s and 70s. Collectors use grading companies to slab (place in plastic) and grade their copies of comic books and magazines considered rare such as Golden Age issues of Batman and Superman or the earliest issues of Mad Magazine and even TV Guide. The higher the grade the more valuable the issue. The subject of grading will be addressed in the next post.

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