Archive for the ‘supplements’ Category

What’s a copy of the Sunday Times Magazine worth?

May 20, 2016
The Sunday Times Magazine cover of Davie Bowie from 1975 has been popular on eBay - with prices ranging from £5 to £35

The Sunday Times Magazine cover of Davie Bowie from 1975 has been popular on eBay – with prices ranging from £5 to £35

An email landed this morning from Danielle that got me thinking:

I came across your site from Google. I have over 100 Sunday Times magazines as well as a few other titles from the late 60s and early seventies. In fairly good and good condition (in my opinion). Some of them I have seen for sale on someone’s website for £30+ per edition, but I’ve no idea if they’re actually selling at that price. I’d rather sell them together than have to list them separately but don’t want to be ripped off. Someone offered me £40 for the lot but that seemed ridiculously low. Are you able to advise at all?

There are always copies of the Sunday Times Magazine – originally the Sunday Times Colour Section when it was launched in 1962 – on eBay but the value of a copy mainly depends on what’s in it.

This is demonstrated by two recent auctions on eBay. In one, a complete 1962 bound set sold for £102 plus £11.50 postage and there were 2 bidders. Yet, a single issue from 1964 sold for the same amount – £102 + £5.89 postage – and attracted 4 bids. Why? Because it contained the article ‘Mods Changing Faces’ which covered 8 pages in the August 2 issue. So, Mods rule, OK!

The first Sunday Times colour section from 4 February 1962 (though the cover is not dated)

First Sunday Times colour section from 4 February 1962 (cover was not dated)

But these two sales are exceptional: in the past 6 months only 9 listings have fetched more than £20 (including postage). Postage rates varied from £1.60 to £4.50.

A first issue from 1962 sold for just £8.49 + £2 postage. The fact that there were just 2 bids suggests not many people were aware it was for sale – but then the listing did not give the issue date or describe it as the first issue. The better the description, the more likely people are to find it.

An analysis on eBay this morning shows 213 lots sold in the past six months, but if you tick the ‘Completed listings’ box, you’ll see 1,789 finished listings. So only about 1 in 8 have sold. There are pages of unsold issues, whether priced at £30 or £3. Table 1 shows what’s sold and notes some of the sales.

Table 1. Sunday Times supplements sold on eBay (Dec 2015 to 19 May 2016)
Price range No. sold Comment
£100+ 2 Complete 1962 set – bound. £102 + £11.50 post. 2 bids
‘Mods Changing Faces’, 8-page article Aug 2 1964. £102 + £5.89 postage. 4 bids
£30-£99.99 2 30 Dec 1962 Marilyn Monroe Rudolf Nureyev. £39.99 + £4.50 postage (same issue also sold for £3.99 + £1.45)
David Bowie cover (20 July 1975), Copies sold for £30, £25, £16, £11, £6, £5
£20-£29.99 5
£10-£19.99 41 1962 first issue fetched £8.49 + £2. 2 bids
9 copies 1960s-1970s. £11.50 + £5.80. 2 bids
£5-£9.99 94 12 issues from 1971. £1.99 + £3.80. 2 bids
9 issues from 1975. £1.99 + £3.80. 1 bid
Under £5 82

Table 2 gives an overview of number of copies sold as a percentage of total listed by price.

Table 2. Number of copies sold as a percentage of total listed by price
Listing/sale price No. listed No. sold % sold
£70+ 5 2 40%
£60-£69.99 5 0 0
£50-£59.99 12 0 0
£40-£49.99 35 0 0
£30-£39.99 83 2 2%
£20-£29.99 104 5 5%
£10-£19.99 214 41 13%
£5-£9.99 243 94 39%
0-£4.99 1088 82 8%
Total 1789 226 13%

Danielle raises some other specific issues.

Some of them I have seen for sale at £30 a copy

Specific listings hold messages for both buyers and sellers. For example, one person listed the 30 Dec 1962 Sunday Times Colour Section and sold it for more than £30. But someone else only earned £3.99 + £1.45. A big factor in this was that the former mentioned the main contents – Marilyn Monroe and Rudolf Nureyev. Magazine with features on Monroe, Madonna and cult TV series such as The Avengers tend to sell well.

Sites like Crazy About Magazines and Elegantly Papered are professional sellers and put the mags up at high prices and sit in wait of a serious buyer. They trade on their reputation for selling magazines that are rare and in very good condition. Also, they have expertise and so know what they are selling and can usually judge how rare a magazine is. You can approach such sites or regular eBay sellers and see what offers you can get from them. Crazy About Magazines has an email form to fill in to get a quote. Many such traders are listed on my Collecting Magazines page.

Someone offered me £40 for the lot…

You will not get the best price by selling them in bulk, but then can you be bothered listing them separately on eBay and then doing all the posting and packaging? One strategy is to keep an eye on eBay for a few weeks, see what goes well and pick out the best issues to sell. Then, sell off the remainder as a job lot. Note that 9 copies from the 1960s and 1970s sold for £11.50 + £5.80 postage. That’s just over £1 an issue. Another 12 issues from 1971 went for just  £1.99 + £3.80 postage. That’s 16p an issue. With that sort of success rate, £40 for 100 issues might not look so bad!

Another option might be an impecunious relative/friend/teenager with the time to do the listings and you could split the proceeds.

In fairly good and good condition (in my opinion)…

Be very careful about descriptions. The average person’s ‘good condition’ will not be the same as an expert collector’s. So stick to facts rather than opinions: no missing pages; no writing on the issue; describe bad creasing; rips. Photos can be really useful here. Again, there’s more advice on the Magforum.com Collecting page.

I’ve no idea if they’re actually selling at that price..

The thing to do is to build and save searches on eBay to get a feel for the market. You’ll find tips on doing this at the ‘Useful ebay searches‘ section on my Magforumcollecting page.

The Hitler Diaries – the farce of the century

February 6, 2016
The Observer Magazine cover shows Alexei Sayle as the Hitler diaries forger in the 1991 TV series Selling Hitler

The Observer Magazine cover shows Alexei Sayle as the Hitler diaries forger in the 1991 TV series Selling Hitler

I mentioned the farce of the Hitler diaries the other day, and how in 1983 the German news magazine Stern, Newsweek in the US and the Sunday Times were duped into paying a fortune for the rights to publish what was supposed to be the find of the century – Adolf Hitler’s personal diaries. The Observer, a rival Sunday paper, must have great fun running this cover on its supplement about the 1991 TV series – Selling Hitler – made about the fiasco.

The cover shows Alexei Sayle as Hitler fanatic Konrad Kujau, the forger who called himself Peter Fischer; Alan Bennett as Hugh Trevor-Roper (Lord Dacre), who authenticated the diaries for the Sunday Times, and Barry Humphries (best known as Dame Edna Everadge) as Rupert Murdoch. The choice of such comic-leaning actors shows how the programme took a mocking line.

The series was based on Robert Harris’s book Selling Hitler: The Story of the Hitler Diaries. This is a brilliant exposé of how Kujau touted the diaries to veteran Stern reporter Gert Heideman (played by Jonathan Pryce), who believes he has stumbled on the literary find of the century. The managers at Stern try to pull off a scoop – paying $5 million in secret over months for the 60 volumes of diaries, which Kujau can hardly make up fast enough. However, they ignore tell-tale pointers that the diaries are crude forgeries because they are blinded by greed.

The scandal has become a Fleet Street legend and made the Sunday Times and Times the butt of many a joke in the 1980s and since. It is often referred to – as in the example below. During the bitter battle between Robert Maxwell and Private Eye magazine in 1986, the thieving newspaper owner bought out a spoof satirical magazine showing Hitler with Eye editor Richard Ingrams as Göring.  Note the strapline: ‘Definitely authentic’ – Lord Dacre.

Maxwell's Not Private Eye: note the strap 'Definitely authentic' - Lord Dacre'

Maxwell’s Not Private Eye. Note the strap: ‘Definitely authentic – Lord Dacre’

See more on: UK newspapers

Not Private Eye

‘Fabulous’ pays off for the ‘Sun on Sunday’

November 12, 2015
The front page of the Sun on Sunday promoted the One Direction Fabulous magazine heavily (8 November 2015)

The front page of the Sun on Sunday promoted the One Direction Fabulous magazine heavily (8 November 2015)

Most of today’s tabloid newspapers were founded by magazine barons – the Mail, Express and Mirror. The exception is the Sun, but it is well aware of the selling power of its supplements, so much so that when parent company News UK closed down the News of the World in 2011, its Fabulous magazine was moved across to the new Sun on Sunday when the daily started coming out on Sundays six months later.

Last Sunday’s edition plastered images of the supplement across the front page to promote five covers devoted to the members of boy band One Direction: Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson, with a fifth cover of the boy band members together. There was similar marketing online and the special 1D magazine was also pushed in the Sun on the previous four days. The aim is to attract younger readers – and hopefully get people to buy more than one copy of the paper. It’s a strategy that appears to pay off – sets of the five One Direction magazines have sold on eBay for up to £49.99! A classic piece of brand marketing using popular celebrities.

The promos in the paper read:

With Zayn Malik’s departure and the decision to take a break in 2016, it’s been a tumultuous year for One Direction. In this week’s Fabulous, Harry, Niall, Louis and Liam reveal how they reacted when Zayn quit the band, what they plan to do with their time off and why this is definitely not the end for 1D.

There are also five covers to collect – share yours with us using the hashtag #Fabulous1D!

Don’t miss Fabulous, free with The Sun on Sunday. For more, go to Fabulousmag.co.uk

Magazines like this also allow the paper to focus on a specific part of the readership – presumably teenage girls in this case. It’s a strategy that the Mail on Sunday has played really well over the years with its women-focused You supplement and the Financial Times with its How to Spend It monthly for millionaires. Yet, when Fabulous was launched, former Guardian editor Peter Preston argued in a column that it was too far removed from the paper’s main readership.

Here’s one of the covers – but don’t ask me who it is!

One of the five One Direction covers for Fabulous

One of the five One Direction covers for Fabulous

>>>Britain’s national newspapers profiled

Diana Rigg vamps it up as Agatha Christie’s ‘evil’ victim

October 31, 2015

 

Evil victim: Diana Rigg on the cover of the Sunday Times Magazine, 28 February 1982

Evil victim: a vampish Diana Rigg on the cover of the Sunday Times Magazine, 28 February 1982

Diana Rigg – as Emma Peel in The Avengers – has recently trounced glamour pin-ups Joan Collins and Marilyn Monroe as the most sought-after magazine cover star with an eBay buyer paying £147 for a TV magazine featuring her.

This 1982 Sunday Times Magazine supplement cover is from later in her career when she played the ill-fated temptress Arlena Marshall in a TV version of Agatha Christie’s 1934 detective novel Evil Under the Sun, featuring the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, played by Peter Ustinov.

And how much would this go for? Well, there’s a copy on eBay at present priced at £25.

Downton in search of the ultimate romantic kiss

April 11, 2015
Portraying the romantic kiss: a Laurence Olivier

Portraying the romantic kiss: a Laurence Olivier lookalike on the cover of Woman’s Own magazine in 1938

Mills & Boon has long been a book publishing brand synonymous with romantic fiction. While the men turned to war and adventure, it was in the hospital or among the country’s squiredom that many women readers sought their romantic escapes. And the same writers who produced the books also provided staple fare for the women’s magazines.

As an earlier post noted, though, illustrating the bliss of the kiss is tricky. Here is one attempt by Woman’s Own in 1938. The woman is all expectation as the man – a near likeness for Laurence Olivier, the great prewar heartthrob – approaches.

Downton's star-crossed lovebirds: Lady Mary in the arms of her cousin Matthew Crawley on the cover of ES Magazine in 2011

Downton’s star-crossed lovebirds: Lady Mary in the arms of her cousin Matthew Crawley on the cover of ES Magazine in 2011

After the war, photography took over, culminating in this ES Magazine cover promoting  ITV’s great Sunday evening attraction, Downton, in 2011. It’s a near copy of the Woman’s Own posing, though more artificial in the positioning of the characters for the camera.

The on-off love affair of the series was between Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) and her cousin, Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens) and takes place after the Titanic goes down and into the 1920s. At first, she resents being passed over as inheritor of the family estate simply because she is a woman in favour of Matthew, a mere doctor. But she is soon smitten. Ultimately, they marry, have a child, but, of course, their love is doomed. Dramatic stuff, which this cover sets out to portray.

She is portrayed for the London Evening Standard‘s weekly supplement here as a cold, alabaster statue, more vampire than hot-blooded woman. The photograph is by Nicole Nodland, who has the sequence of Downton images for the magazine on her website.

 

 

 

Wwome’s magazines – and tthe book publishers such as

Arnold Bennett’s Savoy omlette and Paltrow’s goop

April 11, 2015
Gwyneth Paltrow is digitally gooped for the Sunday Times Magazine (22 February 2015)

Gwyneth Paltrow is digitally gooped for the Sunday Times Magazine (22 February 2015)

I mentioned the Woman magazine editor and West Midlands writer Arnold Bennett a while back with links to recipe’s for the Savoy hotel omlette named after him in the 1920s. The dish has cropped up again recently in the Sunday Times Magazine, which reproduces the recipe with some tips from today’s head cook at the hotel, Andy Cook. On the cover is actress Gwyneth Paltrow being ‘gooped’ in green goo, a cover that was a digital merging of the goop and a Paltrow file photograph. The cover reminds me of a Stylist from 2011.

TV chef Nigella Lawson has salted caramel poured over her head for a December 2011 Stylist cover

TV chef Nigella Lawson has salted caramel poured over her head for a December 2011 Stylist cover

Gwyneth Paltrow being 'gooped' for a photo shoot in today's Sunday Times Magazine

Gwyneth Paltrow being ‘gooped’ for a photo shoot inside the Sunday Times Magazine

Wright’s coal tar soap in Eve magazine

March 24, 2015
Advert for Wright's Coal Tar Soap by Lilian Rowles on the back cover of Eve magazine

Advert for Wright’s Coal Tar Soap by Lilian Rowles on the back cover of Eve magazine

The illustrator Lilian Rowles painted this advert for Wright’s Coal Tar Soap, which appeared on the back cover of Eve magazine in 1924. Note the orange theme in the illustration, evoking the colour of the soap. Soap advertisers, especially Pears, were leaders in developing marketing techniques in the Victorian era and into the 20th century (think soap operas).

Eve magazine cover with a portrait of actress Sylvia Leslie (6 August  1924)

Eve magazine cover with a portrait of actress Sylvia Leslie (6 August 1924)

Eve described itself as ‘The Lady’s Pictorial’ and at this time had taken over The Woman’s Supplement from the Times newspaper. The cover here shows the stage actress Sylvia Leslie, who was appearing in The Street Singer, a musical by Frederick Lonsdale and Harold Fraser-Simpson that was running at the Lyric Theatre in London. In 1929, Eve, a weekly, itself merged with a current affairs weekly Britannia to become the monthly  Britannia and Eve, a title that was published until the mid-1950s.

The Sphere & Tatler company published the magazine from 172 The Strand and it was printed by Cornwall Press at 1-6 Paris Garden off Stamford Street (opposite what would become IPC’s King’s Reach tower in the 1970s) in the Southwark district of London. This printing works was not far from the Wright’s office at 44-48 Southwark Street (now ‘O ver, a pizza parlour) and the soap factory at 66-76 Park Street (now a training centre for the bank HSBC and just along from the site of the medieval Globe theatre, now a block of flats).

Joan Collins, Madonna and Kate Moss on magazine covers

December 22, 2014
Joan Collins talks about married life as a slave in the Daily Mail's Weekend supplement - 30 August 2014

Joan Collins talks about married life as a slave in the Daily Mail’s Weekend supplement this year

When it comes to longevity as a magazine cover star, the prize has to go to the actress Joan Collins. I’ve identified her as far back as 1951 at the age of 18 on the cover of Tit-Bits and there can’t have been a year since when she hasn’t graced a magazine, from Picture Post, to Span, to Film Review, Woman, Playboy and OK! That’s 63 years a cover star.

But although she may not be showing her age – the Weekend supplement cover here is from August this year – Collins is getting on (she’s 81!), so who can rival her in future? Two names spring out –  Madonna and Kate Moss (far too early to consider Lady Gaga). So what are their chances of rivalling Joan Collins?

Madonna on the cover of Smash Hits back in February 1984

Madonna on the cover of Smash Hits back in February 1984

Joan Collins had a massive boost to her career with the role of Alexis in Dynasty and such reworkings are vital to a long career. Madonna is back in the news at the moment over the ‘artistic rape’ she says she suffered because someone stole demo tapes from her new album. There’s no doubt the US-born singer and actress is a brilliant self-publicist. She has been recognised as the best-selling female record artist on record. Now 56, Madonna’s first Vogue cover was February 1989. Before that, she was a Smash Hits cover in 1984, when she was coming up to the age of 26. That’s 30 years as a cover star and, assuming she is still popular when she’s 81, another 25 years to go, total: 55 years of cover stardom.

Kate Moss in Corinne Day photograph on cover of the Face magazine in July 1990

Kate Moss in Corinne Day photograph on cover of the Face magazine in July 1990

Kate Moss turned 40 this year and marked it with a Playboy cover. Her modelling fortune was made by her appearance – as a scrawny 16-year-old – on a 1990 cover of style bible The Face shot by Corinne Day. Moss was the face of the Third Summer of Love (the others being 1967 and then the rave summer of 1988).

Starting at such an early age clearly gives Kate Moss an advantage. She has 24 years behind her and, assuming the 81 limit again, 41 years to go. Total: 65. That early start at 16 gives her a potential two-year edge on Joan Collins and a full decade on Madonna. Her first cover was on the Face, a relatively niche title, whereas Tit-Bits in 1951, the launch platform for Joan Collins, was probably selling a million copies a week. In contrast, Moss has been on a Vogue cover – frequently twice a year – just about every year since 1997, whereas Collins has never been on a Vogue cover.

On a personal level, Collins is on her fifth marriage – including Anthony Newley, one of the most gifted actors, singers and songwriters of his generation (Goldfinger title song, a dozen top 40 hits, roles in Dr Dolittle and Eastenders) – and has three children.

Madonna has been married twice – to Dead Man Walking actor Sean Penn and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels director Guy Ritchie – and has four children. Moss has been married just once and has a child from her relationship with Dazed magazine co-founder Jefferson Hack.

What remains to be seen, however, is whether Kate Moss, or Madonna, has the staying power and the ability to appeal to such a wide range of people as Joan Collins.

WATCH OUT for my book on British Magazine Design, a highly illustrated large format hardback from the V&A

Goalen – the super model face of the 1950s

June 13, 2014
super model - mannequin - Barbara Goalen

Sunday Times Magazine celebrates the style of 1952, as personified by super model Barbara Goalen (30 January 1977)

Model – or rather ‘mannequin’ in the teminology of the day – Barbara Goalen was chosen by the Sunday Times Magazine as the personification of the style of 1952.

The issue marked changes in ‘Britain at Work’ over the 25 years since Queen Elizabeth’s coming to the throne in 1952 in an article titled ‘The New Elizabethans’ (30 January 1977).

In that year, Goalen had been part of a 40,000-mile world tour over four weeks to promote British fashions and exports.

Goalen was born on the first day of 1921 and died in 2002. She was renowned for her wasp waist and her aloof looks.  Her measurements were 33 inches (for her ‘charlies’ in her own words), 18-in waist and 31-in hips; she tipped the scales at under eight stones.

Goalen’s modelling face was marked by arched eyebrows and she was the ideal mannequin for Dior’s New Look – ‘mink and diamonds’.

Despite her international success, she would be the leading super model in today’s terms, Goalen gave up modelling in 1954 when she married Nigel Campbell, a Lloyd’s underwriter. In the 1960s, she gave out fashion advice in the pages of the Daily Telegraph.

The National Portrait Gallery has four  photographs of Goalen ranging from 1949 to 1952, by Norman Parkinson (one with Wenda Parkinson, Parks’ wife since 1947) and John French. A fourth image from Keystone Press shows Goalen next to a portrait of herself by James Proudfoot.

Barbara Goalen on the cover of the general interest weekly Illustrated in 1953

Barbara Goalen on the cover of the general interest weekly Illustrated (29 August 1953)

The cover of Illustrated here shows an image from the shoot chosen by the Sunday Times Magazine. (There is a certain irony here in that the advent of free Sunday supplements sparked by the Sunday Times, was a big factor in killing off the general interest weeklies such as Illustrated.) Illustrated headlines Goalen as modelling the ‘London Look’. Inside, two photographers are credited, Peter Waugh and David Olins. (Some websites have identified the photographer as Richard Avedon, but this seems unlikely.)

Illustrated rival Picture Post also featured Goalen cover on its cover in 1952, in this case with a photo by John French.

 

Kitchener – this is not a poster!

May 29, 2014
Daily Mail's Event magazine with its Ralph Steadman article

Daily Mail’s Event magazine with its Ralph Steadman article that mistakenly identifies a poster as the original London Opinion cover

Whatever the faults of the Daily Mail, it exhibits a sense of history in the logo it carries on its ‘answers to readers questions’ page. The logo is based on the original title for the magazine that founded the Daily Mail dynasty back in 1888: Answers to Correspondents on Every Subject under the Sun, founded by Alfred Harmsworth.

Logo from the present-day Daily Mail - based on a magazine title from the 1880s

Logo from the present-day Daily Mail – based on a magazine title from the 1880s

As Answers, this became a massive success, building on the pioneering George Newnes’s Tit-Bits, for which Harmsworth had worked, to help establish British magazines as the first truly mass media. Answers claimed to answer questions sent in by readers directly by post, and those of general interest were published. Answers was a such a success that it was the foundation of a magazine and newspaper empire, the likes of which the world had never seen. Alfred and his brother Harold went on to found both the Daily Mail and the Daily Mirror, then buy up both the Sunday Observer and the Times and become lords Northcliffe and Rothermere. Alongside the newspapers, the Harmsworth’s Amalgamated Press (later Fleetway) became the largest periodical publishing empire in the world. Viscount Rothermere rules the roost at today’s descendant, the Daily Mail & General Trust.

London Opinion 1914

The original magazine cover – this is NOT a poster!

So it’s no surprise that the paper is running a series to mark World War One, including an 80-page souvenir issue of its listings section, Event. Pride of place in the May 4 edition was a feature by the brilliant Ralph Steadman, whose father fought in that war and was injured three times. Steadman interprets Alfred Leete’s famous Kitchener image and the article make reference  to its original appearance as a London Opinion cover – but then shows one of the early London Opinion posters in the centre of the spread rather than the magazine cover!

The error adds to half a century of people getting it wrong: including the Imperial War Museum (which was given the artwork by Leete); Picture Post using the artwork in 1940 and again referring to it only as a poster; and biographers such as  Philip Magnus adding to the confusion. Even the British Library captions the cover as a poster in an article by the historian Professor David Welch. To cap it all, the Royal Mint makes no reference to Leete even as it copies his artwork for a commemorative coin!

The full story of Alfred Leete’s cover illustration for London Opinion is told in the book, The Amazing Kitchener Poster.