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Wine Lists Present Bouquets of History

July 16, 1987|RONALD L. SOBLE | Times Staff Writer

Roy Brady of Northridge writes about an unusual collectible--wine lists.

"I collect wine lists which, broadly interpreted, means documents concerned with the wine trade," he said. "Those include wine merchants' price lists, restaurant wine lists, wholesale lists, bills of sale, etc.

"A selection from my collection is being exhibited at California State University Northridge in the lobby of the Oviatt Library through Aug. 31. It ranges from an 1818 bill of lading for a shipment of sherry from Cadiz, Spain, to London to this month's computer-generated wine list from Michael's restaurant in Santa Monica."

Brady, a retired defense-industry mathematician, said in a telephone interview that he has "a couple of thousand" wine lists in his collection and that "I've always been a collector of something printed."

"I use to collect wine books. I have 1,400 books now," he said, in addition to about 32,000 wine labels.

Brady, in his letter, said wine lists are highly collectible because they provide a reflection of the times in terms of prices, descriptions and trends. "A very few lists are notable for the quality of printing and illustration," he said.

At one time, Brady reflected, such lists were uncovered only "by digging through grubby book shops." Now, he says, they've become more trendy and can be found at antiquarian booksellers. "Still," he said, "they are scarce because it is the natural destiny of a list to be discarded once it has served its commercial purpose. One rarely sees the same list twice. . . . So far, I haven't discovered anyone else who collects them--though someone must, since they sell."

One of Brady's primary sources for wine lists, he said, is Cooks Books in Rottingdean, a town in Sussex, England. He adds that he'll take calls on the subject at (818) 886-0683.

Cecil Curtis, who publishes Walking-Stick Notes (Placebo Press, 4051 E. Olive Road, No. 231, Pensacola, Fla. 32514), has published a bibliography in his latest newsletter (No. 7) for walking stick collectors. It is, he says, "a list of all books dealing primarily with walking sticks in English that I have been able to find reference to." About 20 publications are listed.

Since we've been getting inquiries on marble collections, we'll pass along that the next meeting of the Marble Collectors Society of Southern California is scheduled for July 26 at 1 p.m. at the Northridge Village Clubhouse, 8065 Canby Ave., Reseda. For further information, call (818) 349-5610.

In the group's June newsletter, a new book on marble collecting is noted: "Greenberg's Guide to Marbles" by Mark E. Randall and Dennis Webb (Greenberg Publishing Co., 7543 Main St., Sykesville, Md. 21784, color photographs, index, $50), which will be published in October.

"This book identifies every significant type of marble found in the United States from pre-Colonial times through 1986," the newsletter says. "It includes the histories of known manufacturers, the years marbles were produced, detailed descriptions of the marbles and the machines used to produce them."

Marlene Werner (P.O. Box 1823, Makawao, Hawaii 96768) writes: "I am moving and must dispose of my Perry Mason collection. It is a complete collection, both paperback and hardcover. Some are first editions."

Date Book

A "Strictly Disney" sale is scheduled by the National Fantasy Fan Club for Sunday, at the Inn at the Park, 1855 S. Harbor Blvd., Anaheim. The show will feature Disney memorabilia, including toys, figurines, games, plates, posters, cels and T-shirts. The show, open to the public, runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $3 with validated parking. For more information, call the club in Irvine, (714) 241-8104.

More than 75 exhibitors from the United States, England, France, Germany, Australia and Israel will be at the Long Beach Antique Show & Sale at the Queen Mary, July 24-26, and at the Hollywood Antique Show & Sale at the Holywood Palladium, July 30-Aug. 2. Admission is $5. Friday and Saturday hours are 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, noon until 6 p.m. For more information, call (818) 357-4151.

The Pepsi-Cola Collectors Annual Fair is scheduled for Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Cortez Park on Citrus Avenue in West Covina. There'll be a raffle and door prizes. For more information, call (818) 967-4633.

The Greater L.A. Postcard & Paper Collectibles Show will be Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Elks Hall, 400 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena. Admission, $3. For more information, call (818) 281-3390.

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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