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Original historical documents to view, buy at Ephemera/39 fair in Old Greenwich

February 27, 2019 GMT

Ephemera/39, a fair coming to the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Old Greenwich Saturday and Sunday, March 16-17, will provide the public with a rare, close look at original historic documents that are at the core of much of today’s heated debates, according to news release from the event sponsor, the Ephemera Society of America.

The society is billing the event as America’s largest Ephemera fair, with 10,000 items, covering hundreds of years of history throughout world, with prices ranging from under $10 to more than $1 million.

Ephemera refers to paper items such as posters, broadsides, letters, maps, magazines, photographs and other items that were meant to be used. Though not created to be preserved, many types of ephemera have since become collectible. Exhibitors from 12 states will showcase approximately 10,000 items, the group said.


Of the 10,000 items, only five at the fair are for exhibit only and not for sale, including “The Declaration of Independence — Very Rare New York Imprint, July 11, 1776.”

One of the “priceless” items being offered for sale is John Hancock’s signed Protest Against Taxation Without Representation. Boston’s 1768 call to all of Massachusetts for help responding to British sanctions is priced at $175,000.

Another is a 1780 Alexander Hamilton love letter to Eliza Schuyler offered only as part of the Alexander Hamilton Collection. With more 1,000 documents that capture in depth the story of the American Revolution and Founding, the collection is priced at $2.6 million.

Other Revolutionary War ephemera are priced under $200.

Not everything is political. Popular items for sale include vintage advertising materials, rare maps, posters, tickets, manuscripts and music scores, movie scripts and photographs.

“Even professed ‘non-collectors’ often leave with at least one item that catches their interest. It could be a $20 photograph from a century ago, or this time it could be a multi-million-dollar collection that seeds the next great history museum,” according to Marvin Getman, the show’s organizer.

Hyatt Regency Hotel, 1800 E. Putnam Ave., Old Greenwich. Saturday, March 16, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.-Sunday, March 17, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. $15, students with college ID and under age 18 are free with an adult admission. Parking is free.