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Antique Advertising Pocket Mirrors

Antique pocket mirrors are a small but active area in the field of antique advertising. The basic design is a mirror that is covered with a celluloid area that has advertising on it. Antique pocket mirrors are almost always oval or circular. These were kind of the original customized promotional items. Today a travelling salesman might give out a sleeve of golf balls with his company’s logo on them. Back in the early 20th century people making sales calls might leave a pocket mirror to help promote their business.

Values: The very rarest pocket mirrors usually sell for as much as a thousand dollars. There are other pocket mirrors that cross over genres into the baseball or political memorabilia fields that can be worth more money. We recently sold a political pocket mirror for $6,500. For every one pocket mirror worth that kind of money there are 500 more worth less than $100. In fact the majority of pocket mirrors sell for between $20 and $200. There is no price guide online. You just need to work with an expert (like us) to establish the current market value.

Ways To Collect: Most collectors focus on a geographic or topical area. Saloons and breweriana pocket mirrors are always popular. Risque, aka slightly nude, pocket mirrors have a special following. For that matter, anything with your typical stylized Victorian woman should be worth decent money. As we said above, political and baseball pocket mirrors are usually worth better than average money.

Part of the appeal of pocket mirror collecting is that you are never really finished. Never before seen advertising mirrors are discovered almost on a daily basis. Rarity is common, and rare mirrors are not always prohibitively expensive. There were tens of thousands of pocket mirrors made. Most have been thrown away or lost forever. There are very few areas of collecting where such rare and unique items are so affordable. If there is an area of antique advertising with long term gain potential, it is probably in pocket mirrors.

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