CALENDARS ARE THE PERFECT CROSS-COLLECTIBLE. If you collect artwork by a favorite artist, search for specific product advertisement, collect memorabilia from your hometown, or are simply looking for a great birthday or anniversary gift for someone born in a specific year, a calendar can be the solution. Just about every interest imaginable was reflected on vintage calendars. You may have to search long and hard to find just the right calendar, but that is the fun of collecting!
AN EXAMPLE: Let's take a look at the 1936 calendar pictured above. This calendar combines vivid artwork, "Lovely Little Lady" by Laurette Patten, with an advertisement for St. Louis Sample Shoe Store, Jacksonville, Illinois. The Poll-Parrot Shoes logo appears on both sides of the calendar pad and the verbiage "Star Brand Shoes are Better" appears under the calendar pad. Rusty staples on the full calendar pad lend an air of authenticity. Intricate artwork, typical of the 1930s, adds a period flair to the cardboard. This calendar would appeal to many collectors for a variety of reasons. In addition, it is a great decorative accessory hanging on a wall.
DECORATING: Did you know that calendars make fabulous wall art when framed? They can be a real find for anyone who wants something unique adorning the walls of their home or office. For example, an editor of an outdoor magazine had her office decorated with framed calendars from the 1900 through 1930s that featured women in the outdoors. Many of the turn-of-the-century Victorian calendars, with their beautiful die-cuts and florals, are prime candidates for framing. Creative framing even turned an 1899, six-page, 9"x11" floral calendar into two yard-long type calendars when three each of the individual calendar pages were connected with ribbon in the Victorian style and elegantly matted and framed in a pair of matching gold frames. Be creative. Use your imagination. (Just remember that the framing and matting need to look professional.)
BUYERS BEWARE: One unfortunate pitfall to collecting calendars is that there are many reproductions. I notice that reproduced calendar cardboards and pads appear frequently on Ebay. Many are pin-up calendars that have glued on prints (which are oftentimes poorly cropped). Keep in mind, however, that the subject matter for reproduced calendars changes frequently. Popular collectibles such as oil and gasoline, Lionel train and soda calendars are making the rounds now. Unfortunately, these pieces are not represented as reproductions, and the unsuspecting buyer thinks he/she has an original item. So, what can you do? Ask questions! A reputable dealer will guarantee his/her calendars to be 100-percent authentic, will refund your money and will be glad to answer questions. Be sure to check feedback as well.
OTHER TIPS: Condition of paper is extremely important. Minor wear is to be expected on very old paper, but do not buy something that is totally beat up. (It has no value other than sentimental.) Also remember that paper absorbs odors. Ask if the item is from a smoke-free environment and if it smells musty before you make a substantial investment. Also, a full calendar pad adds value.
Over the past 25 years, I have amassed more than 1,000 calendars and have been not only collecting them, but supplying them to others. When I take a visual tour through my inventory, decade by decade, I'm treated to a wonderful reflection of America - its people and its products from the early 1800s through today.
My business is "The Calendar Girl" and for that reason, I am "neverwithoutadate."