Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Cards that Aren't Cigarette Cards


Okay, I don't know what came over me. I know... I swore I would never do it again... but I failed. In my defence, the auction I was at was hot and long and there was a long gap in between the lots I was actually interested in. So when the porter held aloft a metal biscuit tin and the auctioneer announced a large number of cigarette cards I wavered and my hand went up before my brain knew what was going on.

Hundreds upon hundreds of unsorted cards, not many in good condition and most almost unsaleable! The first time, and I swore the last time, I bought cigarette cards to sell I was nearly driven around the bend by the questions... in the week of an Ebay auction I was beset on all sides by a barrage of questions about the most fastidious, nit-picky, detailed and baroque points that I swore never again... "can you tell me if the top right hand corner of card no 51 is very bumped or slightly bumped?", "do you know and understand the standard grading system for cigarette cards?", "Is the grey speck on the bottom edge of card no. 2 a piece of dust that will brush off or an adhesion to the card?" and on, and on, and on...

So, to turn a travesty into an advantage I thought I would at least share with you, gentle reader, my surprise at those cards in this collection which turn out not to be cigarette cards at all. Of course, I'm sure we all know that once the ciggy card collectors had established themselves, the tea industry took it on as well and the big name tea companies, Brooke Bond in particular, became major issuers of collectible cards as well. What I hadn't realised until I was going though this ill-advised auction purchase, was how many other smaller tea brands and other kinds of products too were sent out with collectible sets of cards after the cigarette card model. Everything from breakfast cereal to football games and disinfectant manufacturers jumped on the wagon it seems and these are some I pulled out to share...


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