Archive for the ‘ebay’ Category

Radio Times and the dark recesses of the web

March 31, 2017
The Radio Times has been around since 1923

The Radio Times celebrated its 70th anniversary in 1993

One of the Radio Times gurus contacted me after seeing my post about tracking down copies of magazines. He makes some interesting points about the post, which used the example of tracing a copy of the Radio Times that carried  an article about a 1974 play, Penda’s Fen:

A link to your blog post was given on a Facebook page that I dip into and I was immediately hooked as I noticed the graphic of the first issue masthead at the top. An interesting post, but one thing most miss with Genome is the facility to see the listing result in context within the day’s listings for that channel:

Scroll right up to the top of that page, and there, on the right, are the details of the issue and page numbers for the listing, making life very easy if you are then planning to look for a copy of the magazine that contains the information, either to buy or in a library:

Appears in
Issue 2627
14 March 1974
Page 43

Lynda Kelly’s website,, has thumbnails of all the editions she has for sale, but she does have unlisted stock, so it is always worth giving her a call to check. Even if she no longer has a copy, but once did, the thumbnail may be lurking on the web, so a quick search on Waybackmachine or just Google with the right publication date or schedule range may grab it from the dark recesses of the web.

Some nice tips there.


Paypal is getting flakey at the weekends

October 31, 2016

Weird goings-on at Paypal for the second weekend on the run. Trying to pay for ebay items, it tells me ‘We don’t recognise the device you’re using’. They’re the same 2 devices I’ve been using for several years. And I’ve bought more than 1,000 items using Paypal.

I spent an age on the phone last weekend and then going through interminable security systems to get a screen grab to them. Of course, I got a ‘we’re experiencing unexpectedly high volume of phone calls’ message last weekend and I got one again yesterday morning.

Ebay help far easier to get hold of, but they know nothing. Just give me Paypal’s phone number, which I know only too well already.

So, I think there’s something going wrong with Paypal’s systems. Certainly, last week the problem sorted itself out without them doing anything.

In the meantime, what do people recommend as an alternative to Paypal for ebay payments?

Guess what? It all worked fine at midnight. Paypal definitely getting flakey at weekends.


Naked Katy and her Dalek tempt Dr Who fans

May 28, 2016
Girl Illustrated front cover with Dr Who girl Katy Manning naked with a Dalek

Girl Illustrated cover with nude Dr Who girl Katy Manning cuddling a Dalek for a photo shoot

A whopping £275 is the asking price on eBay for a copy of a 1977 issue of Australian magazine Girl Illustrated with Dr Who girl Katy Manning naked on the cover with a Dalek – ‘Exclusive TV’s Katy strips’.

That’s quite a jump from the £120 a copy of the same issue of Girl Illustrated fetched in 2008.

Funnily enough, the boots Katy Manning’s wearing – she was Jo Grant, Doctor Who’s companion, in the 1970s – were a present from Derek Nimmo! The photo shoot created a stink at the BBC but the broadcaster did later use the same idea and issued publicity photos of Kylie Minogue in a cheeky pose with a Dalek (though not nude).

But will a copy of Girl Illustrated sell at that price? With 10 watchers, who knows?

Finally, a question for Dr Who experts – is the Dalek in the photo shoot naked? Or is the Dalek the name of the alien encased in the robot shell?

Men’s magazines at Magforum

To see almost 500 magazine covers and pages, look out for my book, A History of British Magazine Design, from the Victoria & Albert Museum, the world’s leading museum of art and design




Beautiful Britons magazine – 1950s glamour still sells

September 26, 2015

Beautiful Britons glamour magazine first issue cover from November 1955

The mid-1950s saw an explosion of men’s magazines after paper rationing was lifted. Many of them used a pocket format and one of the most popular was the monthly glamour magazine  Beautiful Britons.  Two copies of the first issue have sold on eBay recently, one for £29.99 and the other for a hefty £51.

Note the magazine’s motto: ‘The magazine of [EYE] appeal.’

Centre spread from the 1955 first issue of Beautiful Britons

Centre spread from the 1955 first issue of Beautiful Britons magazine

Although the colour was cover, all the pin-ups inside were printed mono. The picture above is from the centre spread. The bikini was a relatively new invention – at least in modern times – dating from 1946 when a French engineer came out with the world’s smallest swimsuit, named after the nuclear tests at Bikini Atoll.

The magazine’s publisher – Town & Country, known as ‘Toco’ – already published Spick and Span, both pin-up glamour magazines launched in 1954, in the same format. Many of the pin-up photographs were of unknown models but actresses such as Shirley Ann Field and Joan Collins were a staple for such magazines. All three titles survived into the 1970s.

Initially, the models were not topless, but the market was changed by the advent of Kamera, published by photographer Harrison Marks and his wife, the model Pamela Green. Kamera included topless models. Marks and Green, who also modelled under the name Rita Landre, were involved in the making of Michael Powell’s  controversial 1960 film  Peeping Tom. The horror thriller centred on a photographer who murdered women with a device built into his camera.

>>List of men’s magazines with profiles

To see almost 500 magazine covers and pages, look out for my book, A History of British Magazine Design, from the Victoria & Albert Museum, the world’s leading museum of art and design




Needlecraft and the craft of the magazine

September 12, 2015


‘Mother Christmas’ cover for Needlewoman magazine from December 1925

‘Mother Christmas’ cover for Needlewoman magazine from December 1925

Needlecraft. Now there’s a topic I know next to nothing about. As children though, we sat around a table every Christmas with a tablecloth that had been decorated with colourful robins and holly by my maternal grandmother. She had been in one of the Dublin orphanages run by nuns where the girls were trained to make and repair linen for the city hotels and later worked as a seamstress for a tailor in Prescot, just outside Liverpool. Her fingers could do magic with a needle.

It was a world of tracing and transfers, often found free in magazines such as Needlewoman. Magazine formats like this were pioneered by Samuel Beeton – husband of cookery’s Mrs Beeton – with the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine from 1852. Beeton’s Book of Needlework was published in 1870 (though Isabella was just a brand name by then, having died five years earlier). The quality of work such magazines encouraged is superb, as I saw when leafing through copies of the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine at the V&A’s National Art Library when researching my forthcoming book on magazine design.

Needlewoman magazine was printed and published by Tillotsons in Mealhouse Lane in Bolton. The company also had an office at 23 Fleet Street in London, where it used an advertising agency, Sells Ltd. The magazine was probably an offshoot of the Bolton News group, certainly the paper was founded by the Tillotsons and based in Mealhouse Lane from 1860.

The illustration for the ‘Mother Christmas’ cover above is reminiscent of the work that would usually be seen on Vogue at the time, but is not credited. One of the projects inside, a fish-shaped bag, seems in contrast to Christmas theme cover, but provides a superb graphic spread with the same-size pattern (one half of the spread is shown here). This was the Art Deco era. How many of these bags were made up I wonder?

Needlewoman fish purse design from 1925

Needlewoman fish purse design from 1925

Needlewoman merged with Needlecraft Practical Journal to become Needlewoman and Needlecraft, which was published into the 1970s. Copies are regularly traded on eBay and at craft fairs. Craftylittlebugger is one of the many people inspired by such magazines, whose contents are finding a new lease of life. Her wartime copy of Needlecraft shows a ‘beautiful bit of bias binding’ that caught her attention. Her issue is just over A5 in size – half the page size of my 1925 issue because of wartime paper rationing – but, as Craftylittlebugger says, it ‘packs quite a punch’.

Magazines from Bolton are rare, but in the 1920s Lancashire was still at the heart of the cotton and spinning industry and there were big advertisers such as Clark’s whose marketing for ‘Anchor’ thread below would have been vital it keeping the magazine profitable. The Anchor thread brand is still going as part of the Coats group, which traces itself back 250 years to the Clark brothers and weavers in Paisley, Scotland. The wealth of Lancashire from the industrial revolution was on display this year at 2 Temple Place in the Cotton to Gold exhibition.

Colour advert for Clark's 'Anchor' thread on the back cover of Needlewoman

Colour advert for Clark’s ‘Anchor’ thread on the back cover of Needlewoman

These crafts have made a huge comeback, and magazine publishers have spotted the trend. Hachette found itself in a ‘crochet part work hell’ a few years ago when it misjudged demand for its Art of Crochet part work. Copies of the Art of Crochet now sell on eBay for up to £5 each and individual patterns for £1. The century-old Woman’s Weekly has produced a Vintage View spin-off carrying past articles and Pretty Nostalgic is now in its fourth year of publication and has built up an industry around itself.

One of the Needlewoman articles carries the quote: ‘The thing of beauty is a joy forever’. How true.

Marilyn Monroe magazines from 1953 on eBay

June 21, 2015

Picture Post from 1953 with Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell on the cover from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes Picture Post from 1953 with Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell on the cover from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Among the 815,281 magazines presently listed on eBay in the UK are two classic illustrated weeklies with Marilyn Monroe covers. The first is Picture Post from 1953 with Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell on the cover from the film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

Illustrated magazine from 1953 with Marilyn Monroe, Lauren Bacall and Betty Grable on the cover, from the film How to Marry a Millionaire Illustrated magazine from 1953 with Marilyn Monroe, Lauren Bacall and Betty Grable on the cover, from the film How to Marry a Millionaire

Second is Illustrated magazine from 1953 with Marilyn Monroe, Lauren Bacall and Betty Grable on the cover, from the film How to Marry a Millionaire.

Both these weekly magazines are priced at £29.99 from the Advertising Archives as buy-it-now or best offer lots.

To see almost 500 magazine covers and pages, look out my book, A History of British Magazine Design, from the Victoria & Albert Museum, the world’s leading museum of art and design

Emma Peel wins the day over Marilyn Monroe

June 9, 2015
Diana Rigg as The Avengers' Mrs Peel on the cover of TV World in 1965

Diana Rigg as The Avengers’ Mrs Peel on the cover of TV World in 1965

Who is the most popular cover star? Joan Collins, Marilyn Monroe? To judge by two recent eBay sales, it’s actually the 27-year-old Diana Rigg – as Emma Peel in The Avengers.

Marilyn Monroe on the cover of Blighty from 1956

Marilyn Monroe on the cover of Blighty from 1956

The evidence is the £147 that a 1965 copy of TV World fetched. There were no less than 18 bids from 4 people. In contrast, a 1956 Blighty with Monroe on the cover brought in a mere £46 (12 bids from 4 people). A copy of the same issue of Blighty fetched £70 on eBay in April.

When it comes to collecting magazines and TV memorabilia though, Mrs Peel and Steed have a long way to go to catch up with Dr Who and the Daleks – a copy of the first Radio Times cover for Dr Who has fetched £509.99.

Emma Peel in one of her leather jumpsuits in a spread from TV World

Emma Peel in one of her leather jumpsuits in a spread from TV World

TV World listed Midlands ITV programmes and this issue covered Saturday December 25 to Friday December 3. Inside there was a double page interview with Rigg – who had found that ‘sudddenly, everybody wants to marry me’ since she featured in the spy series. The seller, Brogan2040, specialises in film and TV.

Other articles covered Noel Gordon and Anthony Morton in Crossroads, a Stars Snakes and Ladders game and an interview with Mark Goddard of Lost in Space. The listings include episodes from The Avengers, Gerry Anderson’s Stingray and Patrick McGoohan as Danger Man.

Nick Buckler, the Blighty seller, also has a July 1957 copy of Fiesta on ebay with a Monroe cover and centre spread.

Monroe brings glamour to Blighty price on eBay

April 6, 2015
1956 copy of Blighty with Marilyn Monroe cover

1956 copy of Blighty with Marilyn Monroe cover

A Marilyn Monroe cover sprinkled some stardust on the price of this 1956 copy of Blighty when it was sold on eBay recently.

Copies of Blighty – which was originally a free magazine for the troops in the First World War and then resurrected for WWII – are usually more likely to fetch £5 than £50, but this issue fetched a whacking £70.88 plus £1.40 postage on eBay. And, there were 31 bids from 6 bidders.

After World War Two, Blighty carried on being published, turning itself into ‘the national humorous weekly’ and then a popular men’s weekly. It later renamed itself Parade and became more explicit, ending up on the top shelf.

A rare colour cover by Arthur Ferrier to help Blighty magazine celebrate VE Day in 1945

A rare colour cover by Arthur Ferrier to help Blighty magazine celebrate VE Day in 1945

The covers were at first whole-page cartoons by the prolific Arthur Ferrier, but mono photographs of young starlets such as Joan Collins or Sabrina replaced these at the end of 1953 and then colour became a regular feature during 1954. Ferrier’s cartoons moved to page 3. One Ferrier cover for Blighty that did well on eBay marked the end of WWII and fetched £48.99 plus £3.99 postage (13 bids by 4 bidders). This was unusual for the time in being colour.

Here is a 1944 British Pathe film of Ferrier drawing a strip for his Sally cartoon in the News of the World based a live model, theatre actress Eileen Bennett.

A contemporary Marilyn Monroe cover will lift the price of most magazines, she being sought after by film and celebrity enthusiasts, and she is an icon for the gay community – an aspect encouraged by Elton John’s ‘Candle in the Wind’.

What’s a magazine worth – Autocar

January 14, 2015

A Magforum reader asks – I have a complete copy of a 1916 Autocar magazine in good condition, any idea what it is worth?

Autocar magazine from 1907

Autocar magazine from 1907 – colour covers did not come in until the 1920s

Copies of Autocar tend to sell on eBay for £10-£30, including postage. 1916 will be before Autocar used colour covers and the front will be semi-display advertising.

It’s a wartime issue, and these are relatively rare because of paper rationing and there may be some war interest. So I’d guess at the upper end of the range. Some useful searches:

Notice that I don’t use the word ‘magazine’ in the search – because some listings don’t;. Also, I don’t specify the books and magazines category because some people list them under cars or collectables or vehicle parts; the use of the quote marks ensures the separate words ‘auto car’ are excluded.

Among the results:

  • The top-value single copy from the third search was for a September 1910 issue at £29.50, including postage, on a buy-it-now.
  • There were about 20 results above £20. These were pre-WW2 issues, except for one – a 1963 copy featuring a Jaguar E-type road test. They were buy-it-nows or had a starting price at £19.99 + postage.

When it comes to listing the magazine, leave out words that people don’t search on in the main description such as: ‘dated’ and ‘the’ (though ‘the’ can be useful for some other searches, such as The Face). In the photographs, be sure to show good adverts in the issue – though there may not be any bigger than half-page in a 1916 issue – as well as the main articles.

Car magazines at Magforum

Tyler’s Monocle shows its worth

July 4, 2010
Monocle first issue

Monocle first issue – worth £11 on eBay

A first issue of Tyler Brûlé’s Monocle has recently sold on eBay for £11.58 after 8 bids. That’s pretty good by magazine standards for a first issue that’s just 3 years old. It also beats the £10.63 (4 bids) that a first issue of Wallpaper – the magazine that made Tyler Brûlé’s name in 1996 – fetched this month.

Other recent first issue sales on eBay:

  • Men Only (1971) £5 (1 bid)
  • Club Interrnational (1972) £13 (9 bids)
  • Plastique £12.99 (buy it now)
  • Man About Town £14.99 (most recent use of the name) (buy it now)
  • Fast Lane £7.99 and £11.99 (buy it now)
  • Lost £12 (20 bids)
  • Over 21 £20 (buy it now)
  • Marquis £9.99 and 99p – someone must be spitting! (buy it now)
  • Blah Blah Blah £4.99  (1 bid)
  • Musik £1.65 (1 bid)
  • Men’s Health £2.20 (5 bids)

Academics and economists must love eBay. It’s a fascinating way of assessing the value of objects – and people and celebrities. For example, when Word magazine did several different covers a couple of years ago, people went out and bought several copies and sold them on eBay for more than the issue cost in the shops – even though it was still on sale. If I remember rightly, there was the most interest in Kylie and Bono and least in Dido.

For the magazine industry, the way cover variations sell on eBay can be used as another way of testing cover designs in terms of the use of faces, different design styles and even colours.

As for Monocle, it appears to have established a brand value up there with the likes of Vogue, in that the issue sold for more than a Vogue from that time sells on eBay; certainly way above a first issue of Nuts (you’ll be lucky to get 99p); and the first issue of the much older Loaded (1 bid at £4.99). (While Brûlé is either a style guru or the world’s most annoying man, according to Christopher Fowler.)

I look forward to the first index of celebrity values based on eBay – perhaps one for Tyler’s fellow FT columnist, the Undercover Economist.

Wallpaper launch

Monocle launch