Cigarette and Trade Card Collection

Accession Number RC00682
Collection type Published Collection
Record type Collection
Item count 7858
Measurement 9 folders, 25 albums
Object type Cigarette/trade card
Maker Various
Date made 1900-1995
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945
South Africa, 1899-1902 (Boer War)
First World War, 1914-1918
Copying Provisions Copying permitted subject to physical condition

The cigarette and trade card collection consists of series of cards which were issued by cigarette companies, or other companies such as confectionery firms, cereal manufacturers and clothes companies. Beginning with advertisement cards, they soon progressed to numbered series (ranging from 10 to 100 cards) on particular themes.

Themes include scenes from war/war incidents, crests and badges, officers and VC winners, medals, aircraft, warships, uniforms and modern war weapons. Non-conflict subjects include cars, sports, butterflies, birds and flags.

The collection is printed on either paper card, or on silk (sometimes paper backed). Cards are stored by series in both folders and albums. The albums include 16 German albums, mainly on the history of the German armies, a bound volume 'Army Corps & Division Signals 1914-18', and several collector's albums.

The average size of a card is 360mm x 640mm, however this can range up to the size of a playing card. The cards are British, Australian, German or American. With some of the series there is no indication of the country of origin. The collection dates from the early 1900s to a swap card collection from Golden Fleece dealing with Military uniforms (Australian), c1970s or 1980s. However, the collection mainly holds subject matter relating to World War I.