Monday with Hayley Mills: Hayley and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Dress

I am in love with this photo and the dress worn by actress Hayley Mills. The setting, the pose, the entire scene is beautiful. I’m glad I can share it with any Hayley Mills fans who wander by.

About the Poster:

I am pretty sure that this over-sized fold out poster of actress Hayley Mills is from the Japanese celebrity magazine Eiga Joho (April 1966). The publication notes state this poster is included in the issue but my copy does not contain it. It was probably stripped out long ago for resale. Cutting out and removing unique ads, articles and photos is a common practice among those who resell ephemera, something I personally am conflicted about. One one hand items are being preserved that would otherwise vanish from age and neglect but on the other books and magazines are rendered almost useless for collection even as they are sold as complete. In some instances this may not be on purpose.

I have a number of vintage books where the best part was cut out and those sellers, I believe, were not aware that someone had removed pages before they received it. Once a magazine or book is stripped of a few interesting pages what is left is probably sold or donated. These will typically eventually end up at thrift stores or sold cheaply elsewhere. Much of the time luck and detective work is required to determine if old publications have been stripped. Sometimes it is obvious, like careless cuts and tears. Find an old copy of LIFE with no ads remaining in it and you know something is wrong. Sometimes it is harder to suss out as the vandal will only selectively remove pages that do not interfere with the flow of content and would otherwise be detected. A lot of times this is done to ensure multiple sales from one item.

On occasion the only way to know if some publications have been stripped of content is from comparison of copies of other vintage periodicals. Comparing copies to the other is a way to discover that pages might be missing or an issue is otherwise damaged. The best resource for this is badly aged or degraded copies. Many times the contents will remain intact because there is no resale value of a page because it is unattractive. Unfortunately some older magazines do not have page numbers, content pages or publication listings anywhere. It is up to the individual collector to create a record of the content and all too often information is repeatedly transcribed in error. This is common particularly when the references are from amateur crowd-sourced information posted to the internet. My personal copy of Eiga Joho has been through the hands of many sellers before I obtained it and each listing reported it was undamaged and complete.

I had seen the poster on the internet long ago but it existed only as a tiny thumbnail in the cache of a seller’s defunct website. It was enough to know it existed so I made repeated efforts to locate it. I thought I found one at last several years ago in a magazine but when it arrived the poster was not included. Crushing, but I did not blame the seller. The magazine itself is a delight otherwise and contains a short but cute Hayley Mills article. After some searching and patience I found the Hayley Mills poster early last year, sold separate from any magazine. I scanned and filed it until now.

I don’t read Japanese so this could be a poster originally sold on it’s own, part of some other periodical or fan club collection. The pristine condition has me speculate it spent several decades safe in the pages of a magazine that was properly stored. Hayley is wearing the same dress as on the cover of Eiga Joho and both the magazine and poster are listed as from April 1966. So barring a translation of the Japanese on the poster that would prove otherwise, I believe this is the “bonus” fold out poster of Hayley Mills the issue of Eiga Joho references in the publication notes.

Hayley Mills on the cover of Eiga Joho (April 1966)

Further browsing:Everything Hayley Mills at LTMS
Tumblr search Hayley Mills

John Halifax , Gentleman

Pickings have been kind of slim for a collector of old books and LP’s like myself. Thrift stores that once reserved entire rooms of valuable square footage to crumbling novels and vinyl have let the stock dwindle to almost nothing. This is occurring at a time when the groovy, cool or odd bit of entertainment ephemera of the past is of greater interest to collectors of vinyl. The youth market particularly is re-discovering LP’s (several stores have consolidated their vinyl to one location or are separating them out before they get to the sales floor for sale via other outlets) and their scarcity may be due to this interest.

A sobering thought is that whether or not I am successful in finding something I like may have origins in the loss of a loved one from some unknown family. Books, statuettes and records are often disposed of via thrift stores from family members who are loathe to just trash the precious mementos of a deceased family member. Rather than toss boxes of LP’s into the landfill it is hoped that others may find as much pleasure from the spoken-word styling of Jackie Gleason covering torch songs of the 50s as their mother once did. While the observation is purely anecdotal, cleaning out the parent’s garage of a lifetime of media may be why there are so many copies of the same obscure Italian lounge singer and Swingin’ Sixties instrumentals of movie themes at the local Salvation Army discount outlet. Hopefully (?) once Health Care reform is fully underway then the death panels will ensure a steady stream of old junk from Granny’s attic will hit the Goodwill for collectors to pick over.

Sadly, books are becoming less important as technology renders print ever more obsolete. Thousands of books are just left to crumble from age. Truthfully there is not much of interest to be found in the copy of John Halifax, Gentleman that I scanned other than the book is of advanced age, published sometime between 1902 and 1945. Originally written in 1856 by Dinah Mulock it is a reflection of the times this volume was printed that the author is referred to only by her married name of Mrs. Craik.

The art by veteran illustrator of many Victorian tales A. A. Dixon is serviceable and competent but is rather generic. Fans of the artist may appreciate seeing some scans of his work that may not be available elsewhere. Also, those with an interest in antique medical devices could find some interest in the wheelchair used by one of the characters but it is unknown if the chair is truly representative of the devices of the time or merely an artists’ fancy.

Of greater interest is the provenance of the book itself. Published in England, the inside cover bears a tag from the bookseller and personal notes of previous owners. These are artifacts that would shortly have been lost to history if not for being preserved here.

How the book made its way to San Diego, California in the United States will probably never be revealed. Moreover, the days when books were considered important enough to transport across a city during a move, much less to another continent are long past. Due to shipping costs most books are more likely to be disposed of in the trash or left in donation bins than taken along during a family relocation.

Fortunately much of the text of old, orphan works in the public domain are being preserved by libraries and other services and can be found online. Anyone who cares to read John Halifax, Gentleman can find it via Project Gutenberg or other resources. The accompanying art from the original books are rarely preserved or made available unless some publisher creates a collection for sale or amateurs like myself do so just out of enjoyment or a desire to share.

While I take pains to ensure the books remain intact others are not so respectful or cautious. I’m simultaneously horrified and grateful that industrious artists and entrepreneurs are raiding old magazines and books for the art and framing it or selling the individual pages off piecemeal. I myself own several antique and newer books full of gorgeous hand-drawn and highly-detailed illustrations of drawing and survey equipment and full-color aeronautical flight charts and night sky maps. These drawings just beg to be excised from the binding, framed and hung on a wall. While I can appreciate that old art is being preserved in some form damaging or destroying books for any reason makes me twitch a bit.

Here is a link to the entire set of scans of the art of John Halifax, Gentleman. Enjoy!