Archive for the ‘Ephemera & Games’ Category

Unusual Collegiate Postcards

March 1, 2016

Postcards have long been out of vogue, and are clearly irrelevant in the age of social media. How do you even mail a postcard today? You mean there are places owned by the government that you actually go into to deposit them? How old-fashioned. It’s much easier to just tweet something or post it on Facebook.

Well, the world of old-fashioned postcards are actively collected. Most feature a simple piece of rigid paper measuring 5 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches, although as seen below, they actually come in all shapes and sizes. Since our interests run to colleges and universities, we feature some of the abnormal below, beginning with a Columbia University fold-out postcard from the turn of the century. The beautiful image of a Victorian era girl folds out to six and a half inches when fully displayed.

This Harvard postcard features an actual piece of fabric in the middle, with a raised flag:


This unusual Harvard postcard is made, of all things,  from leather:


We have a large selection of all types of collegiate postcards at our website:


Anri Wooden Collegiate Mascots

February 7, 2016

The ANRI company, located in the Alps of Northern Italy, specializes in hand-carved wooden items including collegiate mascots. Although the company still makes wooden carvings, they have not produced collegiate mascots in the last 30-40 years due to the stricter enforcement of copyright laws.

Founded in 1912, the company has a rich heritage, and as you would expect from hand-crafted Italian objects, they are very high quality.


A close-up of the colorful University of Illinois Illiniwek mascot

ANRI made wooden mascot for scores of schools including the University of Michigan, Princeton, Yale, Tulane, Columbia, Cornell, Penn State, NYU and Lehigh. ANRI collegiate mascots are often confused with those made in the United States by Carter Hoffman. Hoffman’s mascots are almost always stamped with the company name on the bottom, the ANRI mascots are unmarked.

Like each of us, ANRI mascots were done in all shapes and sizes. Typically they are five or six inches in height, although they were also done in miniature versions, as shown in the cute Columbia lion mascot below, which is two inches from end-to end.


A Columbia University lion wooden ANRI mascot

ANRI also produced other wooden accessories associated with colleges and universities, most notably letter openers.  A University of Michigan wolverine letter opener is pictured below:


ANRI carved items are sought after by collectors and alumni and are a nostalgic piece of ephemera from the glory days of collegiate life. We have a nice collection of ANRI and Carter Hoffman collectibles on our website:

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F. Earl Christy College Postcards

April 1, 2013

F. Earl Christy was an American Artist who lived from 1882-1961. His oeuvre includes many works of art relating to early college football, with a particular emphasis on the Ivy League. This post we feature his beautiful postcards.

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F. Earl Christy was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1882. The “F” is believed to stand for “Frederic”. At 17, he painted originals for the Boardwalk Atlantic City Picture company, with many of his early works published by the J. Hoover and Sons Calendar Company of Philadelphia. He attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Arts from 1905-1907.
Christy pcs number 1

Christy practically invented the illustrated image of the “All-American Girl,” at least for the Ivy-League set. His early works glorified the society college girl – always beautifully dressed at football games, golf and tennis tournaments, riding in automobiles or playing instruments. His first College Girl postcard series was published in 1905 by the U.S.S. Postcard Company. When the college girl fad had run its course, he went on to paint more mature men and women, movie stars and political figures, still romantically idealized.

Christy pcs number 3

We have many nice Christy items on our website:

Website of featured in Country Living Magazine

October 26, 2012

We are pleased that was featured in the October 2012 issue of Country Living magazine.

In an article on collecting titled “The Old College Try,” some of our products were featured including vintage football program, old football cheering megaphones and items used for college football tailgating.

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The Ivy League Police Lineup – John Harvard

July 1, 2012

Suspect #1 please step forward and say out loud “VE RI TAS!”

These John Harvard wooden mascot figures were produced in the 1950s by Carter Hoffman. We thought that putting them into a lineup would be a good way to illustrate that each figure is a little bit different. Since each figure was hand carved and painted this is not altogether surprising. Look closely and you will see that the eyes vary quite a bit. Some are looking up, some down and some sideways.

Note that the collars are of different styles, as are the mouths, noses, hats and letters. Their happy smiling faces pictured from above are seen below!

 The Yale Bulldogs below don’t look so much like a police lineup as they do a dogsled race lineup. The same comments apply, there is quite a bit of variation in the wooden figures produced for Yale’s mascot.

We occasionally have Carter Hoffman figures available on our website:

Chicago Pennant Company

June 15, 2012

The Chicago Pennant Company made these delightful banners of our favorite colleges and universities:

There is not a lot of information about the company to be found. In the 1930s they described themselves as, “Manufacturers of Pennants, Pillows, Banners. Memory Books, etc. of Felt and Leather. 6642 Cottage Grove Ave. Chicago”.

We found this interesting patent the Chicago Pennant Company received in 1928 for a shipping container.

During a later period, likely the 1950s, their tags identifed them as makers of “DISTINCTIVE COLLEGE SPECIALTIES, Manufactured By, CHICAGO PENNANT CO., 1921 West 87th St., CHICAGO, ILLINOIS”. Later, the business labeled products with the more snazzy sounding “Chi Penco” or “Chipen’co”, an acronmy for Chicago Pennant Company.

We don’t know when they stopped making banners and pennants, but know that they do us until at least 1979. An obituary in 2005 for Janet Bergman Hagins notes that she managed a family business, Chicago Pennant Company, until her retirement.

We do know that they made delightful, quality and sometimes humorous banners that are sought after by collectors.


Defensive, angry cigar smoking Cornell Bears holding spiked bats:

cornell penco

We occasionally have some of these rare pennants for sale on our website:

Yale Princeton Football Game 1895

October 15, 2010


We’ve featured vintage Ivy League board games two or three times previously and are always amazed at the prices they fetch. Our latest example is no different. This version is slightly different than the previous version of the Yale Princeton game we featured before.

This one, made by McLoughlin Brothers sold for $1,700. As you can see the box was in good condition but several of the playing pieces were missing. The recession is over.

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1895 Yale and Princeton Football Board Game

November 7, 2008

We have featured early football board games twice before. The Harvard-Yale 1922 and the Parker Brothers Harvard Yale Game.

This time we feature a rare board game made in 1895 by the McLoughlin Bros of New York is called The Yale and Princeton Foot Ball Game. McLouglin Brothers was an early maker of board games, beginning in 1858. It also produced early games such as Grandmama’s Improved Game of Useful Knowledge (1887), The Christmas Goose (1890), The Errand Boy (1891). They produced a series of interesting games until they were bought out by Parker Brothers in 1920.

It is actually refering to a 19th century rugby game. The beautifully done lythographed cover, is a real gem The playing board was also lined with fantastic lytho scenes of game action.

The instructions are on the inside cover and there are some game pieces (wooden markers). The game also came two spinner “indicators”.

A copy of the game sold recently at auction for $200. The item that was sold was in decent condition with the sides of the box intact but have some scotch tape holding some of it together. The cover had some damage around the Yale and Priceton pennants, but overall the graphics were still rich and vibrant as you can see from the close-up shown below.

Harvard Yale Game 1922

September 29, 2008

We have previously written about the Parker Brothers version of the Harvard-Yale game.

Today, we look at the Yale-Harvard Football game made by the La Velle Manufacturing Company of New Haven Connecticut in 1922.

The game was played on a 22″ by 35″ felt field with yards and downs marked and contained two goal posts, two spinners and several mechanical football players made of metal. It also had line markers, wooden football players and wooden markers. 




A decent copy sold recently at auction for $270, significantly less than the $1,800 that the 1894 version of the Harvard-Yale Game sold for, but still a robust price.

Harvard Yale Intercollegiate Boat Races 1901

January 19, 2008

We have a fabulous new addition to our store, a spectacular original program from the Harvard-Yale intercollegiate boat rates held June 27, 1901 in New London CT. Super pictures, as seen below of the Harvard and Yale crew teams, the race course and the yale boat house. Vintage advertisements for Brooks Brothers, punching bags, local brewers, garters for men.

Harvard and Yale first faced each other in a crew race in 1852, so this rivalry goes back a long way.