Avis Yuni Antiques & Collectibles

Circa: 1940
Manufacturer: M. Zinman Insurance Company
Nifty vintage collectible advertising piece found out of a home. This is a desk paperweight which also doubles as a mirror (while this is the size of a pocket mirror and could be used that way, we have read that these were intended to sit on someone's desk and provide a mirror there). It commemorates the 50th Anniversary of the M. Zinman Insurance Company in 1940, which was established in 1890 as stated on the front side of the paperweight mirror itself. The wording on this also states the location of the insurance agency as "2nd and Green Sts. (Streets) Philadelphia" in Pennsylvania. There is no manufacturer or country of origin marking on this old paperweight.

Round measuring 3 3/8 inches in diameter and sitting about 3/8 inch in height. We have read that these old collectible mirrors are made of celluloid but we are not experts and are not sure of the materials here. This piece looks to us like it consists of 4 separate pieces with differing materials. The top printed part which has the words and design could be celluloid. This has an all-over black background with the design and words in what we would call a golden amber color, with bright, clear graphics. This top part is crimped onto a slightly narrower piece which we think is metal and holds the mirror within it. To give this some overall weight to sit still on a desk, it appears to have some sort of a separate heavier weight within (between the mirror and the top printed part) which you can hear move side to side if you shake the piece that way. A magnet does stick to the top, mirror and sides of this paper weight, so it is possible that the top is celluloid but the weight within is a heavy metal causing the magnet to stick to the top through the celluloid. Unpacked, this vintage pocket mirror weighs a bit over 4.5 ounces.

We've provided 4 images, 3 of the topside and one of the mirror underneath. Please note that the camera lighting causes white "hot spot" reflections. Please use the zoom feature to examine closely.

Overall nice, very collectible and usable condition but does show expected age and wear. There are no cracks or breaks. The mirror, however, shows a lot of wear with crazing, spotting, silver wear, dark dots and dark along the outer edge where it meets the metal holder, etc, but you can still see your reflection in it. The top celluloid side overall looks nice, but on close inspection at an angle in bright light you will see many surface scratches and other general evidence of use/wear (but none of this detracts from the coloring or readability or would be noticeable on display). The outer lower side edge of the metal holding the mirror shows expected scratch wear with the black coloring here partially scratched away to show a thin line of gray metal (about 1/32nd of an inch in width).

A nice addition to any collection related to the insurance industry or a collection of these vintage paperweights or pocket mirrors.

1940 Advertising Paperweight Pocket Mirror M. Zinman Insurance Phila.

  • Your price: $15.00
  • Item Number: 2024
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