I have a Playbill collection that spans the 45 years I have attended Off-Broadway and Broadway productions. There are a few shows I am missing so I was intrigued by the Papermania Plus Collectibles Expo at the XL Center in downtown Hartford, CT. The event, considered the largest of its kind in the Northeast, has such items as movie star posters, concert posters, post cards, photography, rare books, stamps, sheet music, political items, and much more. I was hoping one of the dozens of dealers might have the booklets I was searching for. Sadly, I couldn’t find what I was seeking, but that didn’t prevent me from spending quality time poking around the antique ephemera and other collectibles. I was surprised, for example, by the number of vendors that were selling hundreds of old postcards on every topic imaginable. I discovered that theater paraphernalia didn’t seem too popular, but items related to films and movie stars were in plentiful supply. It was also fun to peruse ancient maps and 1960’s concert advertisements.
One of the hallmarks of the event is the free appraisal by various vendors including Gary Sohmers of the television program, Antique Roadshow. Have you ever watched the PBS show wondering what that possible household treasure might be worth? On Sunday August 21st, from 11:00 am – 2:00pm, you can get that chance. I did ask one dealer about my 1971 National Lampoon collection and was given a quick tutorial on what one can expect from selling collectibles verses what they might go for on the retail market. Even though some issues I own go for $10.00-$20.00 on ebay there are only “worth” $3.00-$5.00 to a dealer. So, my plans for an early retirement will be put on hold.
Papermania Plus continues on Sunday, August 21, from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm at the XL Center in Downtown Hartford. Admission is $8.00 per person. Senior citizens and college students with ID cards will be admitted for half price. For more information, go to http://papermaniaplus.com/