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October 2018



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Found in Books 9: Cigarette Cards & Silks

When we were children, there was a rhyme which went:
‘See a sailor, pick him up
All the day you’ll have good luck’.
This was a reference to the then ubiquitous brand of cigarettes Player’s Navy Cut. What our parents would have thought of us picking up dirty old cigarette packets from the gutter, I dread to think. Had cigarette companies stopped issuing cards by then? I think they may have switched to coupons which could be exchanged for various consumer durables. Cigarette cards were very popular in the first half of the twentieth century.

Here’s some cards and silks I’ve found in books.

Early twentieth century is the best I can do for these portraits of European royalty. First World War period?
HM the King of Serbia (I think King Peter I, 1844 - 1921).
HRH Princess Mary (I think Princess Mary of York, 1897 – 1965).

Wills’s Cigarettes: Association Footballers A Series of 50
47 Danny Walsh, Charlton Athletic. I think this set was issued in 1935

“Turf” Cigarettes 50 Famous Dog Breeds
No.19 Dandie Dinmont Terrier. Issued by Carreras in 1952


My grandparents sold Navy Cut in their little shop when I was small and my mum collected cigarettes cards even though she didn't smoke. I founds dozens of sets when i cleared out her house. I really love the European royals. They do look about WW1 period.
My grandmother used cut-up Navy Cut packets to wind her embroidery silks round. My daughter has them now.
Whoo, lucky you finding all those cards.
My in-laws were heavy smokers and saved Kensitas coupons. All these extinct brands!


Cigarette cards

I inherited a box of silk cigarette cards and this is the first time I've known of anyone else who has some!
Margaret P

Re: Cigarette cards

When I found them, I wasn't sure at first what they were!
I know that rhyme but about pennies. now if I see a coin in the road I have to pick it up in case I get bad luck for the rest of the day for leaving it!

Finding silks in books is pretty impressive.