Sunday, May 18, 2014

Barry Ono - Penny Bloods

Barry Ono was the greatest of collectors of Penny Bloods.  His collection was bequeathed to the British Library after his death in 1941 and is fully described in Penny dreadfuls and boys' adventures: the Barry Ono collection of Victorian popular literature in the British Library, by Elizabeth James and Helen R. Smith (1998). He was a stage comedian and songwriter in the music hall tradition, and you can see his craft in a Pathé Pictorial film on his collection:

He corresponded widely with other collectors in search of rarities.  Here are a couple of postcards he had made up for his ceaseless quest for Dreadfuls and Bloods, the first dated 1927, and the second 1940:

An advertisement:

He wasn't in any way a modest chap who downplayed the importance of his collection or his preeminent position amongst collectors, as the following letter to fellow collector, Charles Daniel, reveals:

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