Tobacco Insert Playing Cards
Collectible insert cards were a marketing innovation which started in the nineteenth century. Most of us will be familiar with these from our own childhood. Subjects varied from theatre or cinema stars and actors or statesmen, to animals, butterflies or birds, aircraft, garden flowers or playing cards. Cards were included inside tobacco products, chewing gum, tea, chocolate, match boxes, magazines, etc. In some cases they were not necessarily aimed at children but were aimed at the collecting urge in the average person.
The “Hard-a-Port Cut Plug” series depicts actresses with angelic faces dressed for the pantomime or dance hall. The costumes mostly have a playing card theme, and the court cards wear crowns or hold swords or other symbols of office. The Aces and numeral cards have the suit symbols superimposed over the costumes. Plug tobacco is a form of loose leaf tobacco made for chewing. Chewing tobacco was the most prevalent form of tobacco used in the United States until it was overtaken by cigarette smoking in the early 20th century.
Risqué Beauties of the Theatre
The pin-up girls from the “Hard-a-Port” set were re-published in 2003 by F.G. & Co., a company owned by Gianna Majzler and Darren Calkins.
Member since January 30, 2009
Rex's main interest was in card games, because, he said, they were cheap and easy to get hold of in his early days of collecting. He is well known for his extensive knowledge of Pepys games and his book is on the bookshelves of many.
His other interest was non-standard playing cards. He also had collections of sheet music, music CDs, models of London buses, London Transport timetables and maps and other objects that intrigued him.
Rex had a chequered career at school. He was expelled twice, on one occasion for smoking! Despite this he trained as a radio engineer and worked for the BBC in the World Service.
Later he moved into sales and worked for a firm that made all kinds of packaging, a job he enjoyed until his retirement. He became an expert on boxes and would always investigate those that held his cards. He could always recognize a box made for Pepys, which were the same as those of Alf Cooke’s Universal Playing Card Company, who printed the card games. This interest changed into an ability to make and mend boxes, which he did with great dexterity. He loved this kind of handicraft work.
His dexterity of hand and eye soon led to his making card games of his own design. He spent hours and hours carefully cutting them out and colouring them by hand.
A limited edition art print of the Jack of Clubs 1984 woodblock joker.
A limited edition art print of the King of Diamonds 1984 woodblock joker.
A limited edition art print of the Jack of Hearts 1984 woodblock joker.
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Politicards™ 2016 & Politikids 2016: twin decks of satirical playing cards produced by Peter Green f...
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‘The Deck of Hillary’ with quotes and photographs of Hillary Clinton, USA, 2003.
Shakespeare Insults playing cards with portraits by Jan Padover, USA, 2005.
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Old Testament playing cards with illustrations by Jan Padover, USA, 2012.
Starz behind bars playing cards with mug shots of the rich and famous under arrest, USA, 2003.
House of Cards: Deck of Bush playing cards presenting reasons not to re-elect President Bush for a s...
Facsimile of ‘FDR New Deal Deck’ of 1934 re-published by Bill Schroeder, USA, 2010.
“Politically Wild John McCain” published by Newt’s Playing Cards, USA, 2008.
Strange facts from Robert Ripley’s ‘Believe It or Not’ books, in the form of cartoons.
Fate fortune telling cards published by Merrimack Publishing Corporation, USA.
Politicards 2004 with satirical cartoons by the award-winning illustrator Peter Green, USA.
Politicards 1971 for the presidential election in which Richard Nixon won a landslide victory.
Politicards 1984 with caricatures by Donald Gates, published by the Kamber Group, USA.
Politicards 1980 in which Ronald Reagan defeated the incumbent Jimmy Carter, with caricatures by Kei...
Stereotypical representations of gay men and men they most admire, in a 1981 pack from San Francisco...
‘52 Ways to talk about adoption’ family-centred playing cards produced by the Center for Adoption Su...
Facsimile of Winstanley’s Geographical cards produced by Harold & Virginia Wayland, 1967.