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.