And Other Curious Objects
By John Tingey
A light biography of W. Reginald Bray, the undisputed Autograph King.  In Edwardian England, Bray decided to have a little fun with the postal service.  He mailed unusual objects (a turnip, coin, piece of seaweed, himself) to test the regulations of the Post.  Then he started testing the postman’s ingenuity by writing the address is code, riddle or rhyme. 
Sometimes he just tried to see how many postmarks he could get on one card before it was returned.  Eventually he began asking for autographs through the mail – first from various generals in the Boer War (often with just their photo and a vague regional place name).  With the rising popularity of films, he turned to collecting autographs from the stars on the screen.  His collection was massive and included Lawrence Olivier, Dorothy Lamour and hundreds of others.  
This book brings together family photos, remembrances, images and clippings of the day.  
While it seems, based on Bray’s own meticulous records, that he sent out some 32,000 items, most of his collection was sold after his death.  With “mail art” now a much more popular and recognized form, some efforts have been made to locate and archive his works.  
A great site to view is http://www.wrbray.org.uk/
This book is terrific fun and a lovely little story of a man with a sense of humor and creativity.  Great book design and numerous illustrations.
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ISBN 9781568988726
Publication date 11/15/2010
6 x 9 inches (15.2 x 22.9 cm), Hardcover
176 pages, 130 color illustrations, 16 b/w illustrations

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