Thursday, August 25, 2011

A mixed Fortune - as in the magazine

For the past two years, I've been sitting on 12 classic Fortune magazines from 1932 and 1933 that are in mint condition. I was dumbstruck when I found them selling for a mere $7 each. I never thought I'd own one of these beauties, let alone for such a modest price.

At first, all I wanted to do was read them - partly because the issues were right in the throes of the Great Depression - ogle the stylish covers and swoon over the equally stylish advertisements. Fortune has always been a well-designed magazine known for bold art direction and the high-profile artists hired to illustrate its covers and features stories.

Once the initial wonder wore off, I debated whether to sell them intact, cut them up and sell them piece by piece - I discovered that early covers usually fetch at least $60 with many in the $100+ range - or use them in collages. My find was quickly turning into a mixed Fortune.

I both hate and love when the material I collect for collages turns out to be more valuable than the collages! I did approach a few area galleries and booksellers but they low-balled me at $10 an issue - even as I stood in front of covers they had priced at $125 a pop.

As I continue climbing the decision tree, the magazines sit in their crisp archival sleeves. Maybe its time to get the Paper With a Past etsy shop that I set up last year up and running?

Note: covers shown are by (clockwise, from top left) Ernest Hamlin Baker, F.V. Carpenter, Carpenter again, and Thomas Maitland Cleland.

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