Larry Viner, director of The Advertising Archives, has spent most of his life searching for rare magazines and advertising art which has involved him in expeditions all over Great Britain and beyond. Some of his best finds have been in car boot sales in muddy fields or dingy attics and rat-infested basements where home-owners are only too grateful to get rid of what they consider to be junk left over from aged-family members or previous occupants.
Over the years Larry's forays have uncovered rare Nestle chocolate wrappers, hundreds of beautiful vintage magazines, Victorian scrap-books, restaurant menu collections, theatre programmes, original advertising artwork and posters, unusual children's book illustrations, retro mail order catalogues and thousands of out-of-print illustrated books.
Just when he thought that he could no longer be surprised, he found himself embarking on a 9-hour round trip to the remote wilds of Scotland, where he purchased a large quantity of magazines from the new occupants of a house who were grateful to reclaim their garage space. Amongst the vintage Vogue magazines, which had been the main purpose of his pilgrimage, he discovered a run of a British magazine from the 1940s called 'Leader.' Most of these magazines are without inspiration or charm but amongst them was one magazine from 1946 which is the first publication to have featured Marilyn Monroe on the front cover prior to her becoming famous and when she was simply known as Norma Jean. Marilyn ephemera is probably the most iconic and collected in the world. A rare copy of this magazine recently sold for in excess of £5000!
The Holy Grail indeed!