Magazine Condition grades and general condition information
Condition grades are subjective and shade into each other – I go out of my way to be careful here. It is my hope that each and every customer will be very pleased with their purchase and will find the magazine to be nicer than they expected. Most vintage magazines in nice condition, by virtue of their age and the minimal handling involved in reaching that age, are in “Good” condition – it is practically impossible for a vintage magazine to achieve a rating of “excellent” in my system. Many of those issues rated Fair or Poor are quite nice overall and received a lower rating due to a water marked margin or a missing ad. The heaviest sign of use (in any form) is almost always what dictates the grade of the magazine and I place a lot of weight on the condition of the cover. See general notes below about our magazine condition grades.
EXCELLENT (EXC) : Much like new. Almost no wear or signs of age.
VERY GOOD (VG) : A very nice copy. Very lightly used and clean. There may be faint to mild signs of use or age.
GOOD (G) : A nice copy. There are mild to moderate signs of use or age in this category. These issues are all intact and without serious damage. Many, but not all, G issues have VG framable covers.
FAIR (F) : Usable, but with moderate damage (defined in item listing). Perfect for the person who wishes to read or own a vintage magazine, but doesn’t want to pay the high price of a pristine issue. These are either more visibly used or have some more notable damage (nothing gross). Issues with detached covers are graded “Fair” even if cover and all content is VG. Most water marks give the magazine a grade of “fair” or “poor” – a single drip mark may not. In general, water marks in the “Fair” category are confined to a blank margin. If you have interest in a single article, the cover, or whatever – I can tell you the condition of that page. Very frequently, these issues are much nicer than you might guess.
POOR (P) : Still usable, but with significant damage (defined in item listing). Many “poor” items are damaged only in one place (i.e. most pages are very good). These issues are inexpensive and are always a good value for the right customer!
Common to all magazines :
Many magazines have a mailing label, sometimes on the back – please ask if this is a critical issue. I never remove address labels because they rarely come off cleanly and are a neat form of provenance for each magazine. On occasion, I receive magazines from a collector who has removed the labels – I grade these as usual with added attention to the label area and whether the label scar appears to be damage, or not. A number of magazines, especially the newer ones, have a small library stamp – please ask if you intend to frame the cover.
Also common is a detached center spread with bumped edges – the staples were a tad short for most years. I do not consider this to be damage unless the pages have become significantly battered along the edges. I never tape my magazines, but sometimes receive collections with some tape in them. I grade these according to whether the tape noticeably affects the quality of the magazine. We welcome specific questions if our descriptions do not cover your needs. If we have missed something significant, please let us know immediately – we will make it better!
Please note : Many vintage magazines have a faint musty odor. Once we inspect and process each magazine, it is placed in a protective archival polypropylene bag and tightly stored with others in an enclosed space. Thus, even though Colorado air is crisp and dry and perfect for long term storage, your vintage magazine may arrive with a slight musty odor. This is easily eliminated by removing the magazine from the plastic bag, and spreading it open to air out for a couple days. I apologize that I do not have the space to conduct individual airings here.
Which condition grade is good enough for framing?
I encourage you to tell me if you wish to frame the cover or an interior page, so that I may select the issue most suited to your needs. Frequently it will be possible to purchase a less expensive issue when only one page or the cover needs to be in very good condition. In general, all EXC and VG issues have frameable covers, but many of the G, F, and P issues have frameable covers as well. Interior pages are even more likely to be in good condition.
Which magazine condition grade is good enough for a gift?
In general, all EXC, VG, and G issues are suitable for a gift. A few “Fair” issues may also be suitable in some circumstances. Feel free to tell me if it is to be a gift so that I may select the prettiest one available in that condition category.
Why are some magazine descriptions longer than others?
The 2Neat business is still growing. Every time we add another shipment of magazines to our site, we take time to type longer descriptions for all new magazines as well as some of those already listed. Eventually, each issue will have a lengthy description. The length of the description in no way represents the value of the issue – all of the issues have many interesting features and other pieces. All of our descriptions represent a SAMPLE of the text, photos, and advertisements in the issue, NOT the entire content. By the way, if you see these exact descriptions on another seller’s page, please tell me and please do not patronize that seller – – someone so unscrupulous as to steal all of this hard work and weeks of typing.
Glossary of terms used in magazine condition definitions:
(if you need a definition that is not here, please ask)
Browned : Some paper darkens with age or because of contact with non-archival paper or material. This is not soil. This condition can be called Tanning, Age toning, Browning or Darkening.
Bumped : Mild curving or bending seen at corners, edges and spine ends when bumped with use.
Canted : Page block has warped so spine is not square. Book is flat, but spine is not square.
Chipped : Small piece of paper missing, almost always along the edge of a cover.
Color chipped : Small bit of cover color missing (leaving white) – looks like a chip.
Creased : Once folded or almost folded (bent) – now straightened but line shows.
Curved : An arc found in a text block that has been stored crookedly or (rarely) has water damage.
Darkened : Some paper darkens with age or because of contact with non-archival paper or material. This is not soil.
End paper : The paper that is glued inside the cover on one side, crosses hinge, becomes fly leaf.
Extracted from : The article has been removed from a journal (not a reprint or off-print). May have a rough edge at spine.
For its age : When you see this, the age-related “sliding condition scale” applies. The affect of it mild.
Foxed : Speckling generally due to residual acid in the paper or ink. This is cosmetic, not structural. It is NOT soil.
Margin tear : A closed tear that affects only the blank margin. (If paper is missing, we say so!)
Page block : All of the pages taken as a unit. The entire inside of the book. Does not include the covers.
Rippled : Pages are not completely flat, having the waviness that comes from water damage and other sources.
Rough : Almost always refers to the paper over the spine, not the quality of the binding. The paper may have missing bits or short tears.
Rubbed : Literally rubbed with use and storage. Manifests as faint scratches or mild color loss.
Shaken : A hinge that is intact but loosened. End paper may be split over the inside of the hinge.
Spine ends : The extreme upper and lower ends of the spine.
Sunned : Fading or darkening caused by exposure to sun or aging. Typically affects spine and edges.
Tanned : Some paper darkens with age or because of contact with non-archival paper or material. This is not soil. This condition can be called Tanning, Age toning, Browning or Darkening.
Water marked : This is the tone-on-tone discoloration caused by dampness, frequently not very noticeable. Where it is in the blank margin, it does not affect the content of the magazine. Unless otherwise noted, the water markings I note are NOT associated with stuck pages or marked rippling.