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Black Memorabilia Show Due in May

April 18, 1985|RONALD L. SOBLE | Times Staff Writer

Every so often in the field of collectibles an unusual show comes along. Such an event is the one scheduled May 4 and 5 called the Black Memorabilia Extravaganza Sale & Show of the West.

Don't be scared off by the unwieldy title. It is billed as the first black memorabilia show in the West and is set for the Pasadena Center Conference Building, 300 E. Green St., Pasadena.

Included will be all sorts of black collectibles--ranging from slavery-related items to African artifacts and other historical pieces.

M&J Productions of Washington, the show's producers, say there are about 10,000 collectors of black memorabilia in the United States.

One of the biggest collectors, incidentally, is Los Angeles public relations person Don Kader, who, by no coincidence, is promoting the show. Kader's collection includes nearly 2,000 items dating from the 1790s to the 1960s.

Writing in the April issue of West Coast Peddler, a Whittier-based monthly tabloid devoted to antiques and collectibles, Kader says black memorabilia "is a fertile field of connoisseurship in literally every category of collectible, from autographs to toys. . . . Trader values have risen steadily during the past decade, when a record-breaking $100,000 changed hands for one rare 'Freedman' mechanical toy bank."

The first two collectible shows, Kader notes, were held in October and February in the suburban Washington area. The Pasadena event will be the third such show.

On Saturday, doors will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. General admission is $3.

Question: What was the date of the Norman Rockwell poster showing a GI sitting behind a machine gun? It was designed to spur U.S. war production.--C.L.

Answer: You're probably referring to the 1942 poster vividly depicting a GI, shirt torn to the waist, peering intently over the top of a machine gun. "Let's give him enough and on time" was the caption.

About 25,000 of the posters were believed to have been printed, most of them for display in production factories. Collectors say few survived; thus, it's a Rockwell poster that is much sought after and, if found, could command a hefty price.

Q: In the field of aviation memorabilia and the development of aviation, what one museum would you recommend visiting?--G.A.

A: There are many fine aviation museums throughout the country. One that we've enjoyed over the years is the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum in Washington, which takes you from the dawn of aviation to the Space Age.

New collectible museum on the block: Publisher Malcolm S. Forbes has opened the Forbes Magazine Galleries on the main floor of the Forbes Building, 62 Fifth Ave. (at 12th Street) in Manhattan. The 8,000-square-foot gallery contains an assemblage of the Forbes family's collection of toy soldiers, autographs, manuscripts, assorted documents, trophies and more.

Railroad buffs will appreciate the railroadiana show and sale Sunday at the Pasadena Hilton, 150 S. Los Robles Ave., Pasadena. According to railroad memorabilia collector Richard Wright (West Coast Rick's), there will be 75 tables of railroadiana on display and for sale. Hours: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission is $2 (children under 12 free).

Monday marked the 120th anniversary of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln was shot at 9:30 p.m. on Friday, April 14, 1865, at Ford's Theater in Washington and died the next day at 7:22 a.m. The event spawned a major newspaper collectible: the April 15, 1865, edition of the New York Herald. Reprints by the millions have been produced of this famous edition that vividly reported the event.

Historians have found and identified four of the Herald's editions of that day, according to the Colorado Library Assn. Three or four other Herald editions are believed to have been run off that day but haven't yet been located, according to the association.

Now, an association release says, a group of Colorado librarians have produced an illustrated booklet on the event containing an original edition and reprint guide for 66 known Herald variations that have circulated in the collectible market. The price is $2. It can be ordered from: Friends of Libraries, P. O. Box 11428, Pueblo, Colo. 81001.

Ronald L. Soble cannot answer mail personally but will respond in this column to questions of general interest about collectibles. Do not telephone. Write to Your Collectibles, You section, The Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles 90053.

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