I mentioned earlier my burgeoning interest in English Football cards, particularly the early cigarette issues which to my eyes are absurdly (but enjoyably) inexpensive. There was an auction I had an eye on for three 1923 cards printed by DC Thomson. Thomson was a publisher rather than a cigarette producer, so these were likely trade cards included with a boys’ magazine. I won for the magnificent sum of 99p (call it a buck and a half).
The condition looked good and I was more than happy to see the win. What isn’t really apparent from the picture and was particularly surprising to me when they arrived a week later (mail from the UK is not only cheaper than mail from the US, it gets here in half the time – something is off there) was the size of these things. They’re miniscule. Even 1951 Parkhurst dwarfs these cards.
I put the three of them next to a standard-sized card (1978 Topps Footballer) for reference:
Where 1951-52 Parkhurst is exactly half the size of a modern card, these are somewhere between a quarter and a third. I don’t think they make 2/5. They also appear to have been printed on photo paper. They remind me a lot of the pictures we used in high school to prepare yearbooks. For all their tininess, though, they crammed a lot of text on the back:
They’re actually a touch difficult to read in person. That’s a lot of text for something the size of a slightly-overlarge postage stamp.
I have no idea how to store these. I’m thinking perhaps a sticker sheet or a cigarette card sheet. Either way, these are too small and are going to slew around inside. I don’t know whether I’ll chase these in earnest, but for less than a pound, they’re pretty cool.
I like to use BCW’s sheets for T206 sized cards (and those close) because their pockets are shorter than Ultra Pro’s. BCW has four rows per sheet to Ultra Pro’s three.
I still can’t get over how cheap vintage soccer cards are. Vintage Scanlens and other Australian cards are almost as expensive as vintage hockey and baseball cards are here. Perhaps the Brits aren’t that nostalgic? 😉
My vote says they smoked like chimneys and/or were less likely to put things in bike spokes. 🙂
Incredible. I am not sure if they price or just sheer coolness of these is more impressive. How large is the set and is it something you are going to pursue?
I think it’s 137, so it’s doable. Not sure I’ll chase it yet. Right now I’m just sort of sampling my way around to see what’s the most entertaining.