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Welcome to Historystore Auction Site

Welcome to this, our fourth auction and the first devoted entirely to one particular subject, the Art of the Innkeeper.Some of the lots are illustrated in our catalogue and all are available on this website, but please note that we have not scanned the purely manuscript sections of the invoices particularly and have concentrated instead upon the images.

Many of you will have visited our stand at Philatex in the past and will have received similar lists from Messengers and from Britannia, now both sadly defunct in their original format. For those who may be new to ephemera, a few words of background.

After some forty years of accumulating material, we now have an archive of some 20,000 documents dating from the 1500s to the 1900s. In recent years there has been a growing acceptance of the historical role of ephemera by collectors and institutions alike as they come to appreciate the depth that can be added to an artefact by the documents associated with it. Often the pictorial invoice may be the only visual record that survives from the days before photography, apart from the object itself.

Our aim is to hold two general auctions annually devoted largely to individual items of ephemera, with smaller specialist sales in between on particular themes such as antiques or letter writing. The lots are arranged alphabetically by country or by English county and, within those topographical limits, by date. At the front of the catalogue is a subject index to guide you towards your favourite topic. While only a few selected items are illustrated in the list, all the lots can be viewed on our website at www.historystore.co.uk and we will answer your queries gladly or send out copies by more traditional means if you prefer.

The prices shown are all estimates, with a reserve of 80%, and you may bid by E-mail, post, telephone, fax or letter. If you are the only bidder you will secure the item at one step above the reserve, otherwise at one step above the second highest bidder. The price above which you would need to bid in order to secure a lot will be posted as a guide on our website so that, as in a conventional auction, you can decide whether or not you want to raise your maximum bid in order to secure an item. The current price shown is not necessarily the highest bid but is one step above the second highest bid (ie the price at which the highest bidder is currently successful). Please bear in mind that, by its nature, ephemera is unlikely to be as pristine as a book print for example, but on the other hand it is much more likely to be unique, especially if some details are inserted in manuscript.

The best news of all is that we do not charge a subscription, a buyer's premium, a credit card surcharge or VAT! The only addition to your bill will be for postage, unless you collect from London. All we ask is that you take the time to confirm your interest in receiving future catalogues by filling in the form on the reverse of this letter. Most of all we hope that you will enjoy reading the list and, if you make a note of your interests on the form, we will endeavour to include something appropriate in future sales.

Our next auction in the autumn will revert to our oriinal content with a wide range of ephemera from around the world. We will also be at the Stationery Show in New York from 21st to 24th May, so if any of our American clients would like us to bring material from stock to the Show, would they please let us know.

Good hunting!

Claire and John Scott
Historystore Limited

Auction 4 has closed, but let us know if there are any documents you are interested in, in case they remain unsold or we may have a duplicate.