Auction Report: Collector’s sale

Cigarette Cards set the saleroom alight

Our second Collectors sale of the year produced an intriguing selection of items for sale and some excellent results across all categories.

As always our large selection of toys generated much interest with many customers coming to view the lots before the sale and this converted into some furious bidding on sale day.

Two large collections of modern die-cast bus models sold well, one lot featuring some limited edition models of local interest which achieved a hammer price of £240.

There was also a strong interest in a large collection of hollow-cast lead and plastic figurines of all types especially horse racing, hunting, fictional characters and circus / fairground items. A boxed Corgi Major Toys Chipperfields Circus model gift set realised £100

There is still a good market for traditional die-cast models, dolls and model railway items, with a Dinky Toy Foden lorry in a rare colour scheme making £260 and a Koppelsdorf doll realising £100

We had a small, but high quality selection of collectable items. The highlights of this section include a Leica III 1945 camera which realised £550.

The resurgence of interest in vinyl records was also on display in the sale room, with a large lot of vinyl singles and LP’s ranging from classical to progressive rock realising an impressive £450.

Also included in the sale was an extensive collection of cigarette cards from a private collection, which generated a lot of interest from private collectors and cartophilic societies.

Cigarette cards came about more through necessity than as a way to increase sales. The soft paper packets containing the cigarettes left the contents vulnerable to damage and so a ‘stiffener’ was included. These early cards often featured sepia photographs of leading actresses, politicians and celebrities of the day.

By the end of the 19th century it had become commonplace for cards to be issued in series of 25 or 50 cards and by around 1900 issuers, such as Ogdens began to issue hardback ‘slip in’ albums for people to store and display their collections. When we reach the Edwardian era we start to see cards with a picture front and an explanatory text on the back becoming the standard format.

It was during the two decades of the 1920s and 1930s that cigarette cards in the UK became what might be termed today a ‘marketing phenomenon’. The cards were issued around the world in their millions and the once hard backed albums became a far more straightforward paper affair and some of the cards were issued with adhesive backs ready to go into the album

Highlights of the sale included a single Cigarette card album with a mixture of complete and incomplete sets issued by Cope Bros and Co Ltd which realised £520, whilst a similar album by the same manufacturer reached a further £600.

A Wills Ltd cigarette card collection containing 44 cricketers from 1896 realised £750, but undoubtedly the star lot was an album of complete and incomplete sets issued by W. F. Faulkner which realised a hammer price of £1000.

Our next Collectors sale will include another large selection of cigarette card albums and collections. Featuring among others a set of Wills actresses (1897), overseas issues to include Australian and English cricketers (1911) as well as many brand issues including Scissors and Pirate cigarette brands.

The auction will be held at The Lichfield Salerooms, Cross Keys, Lichfield, WS13 6DN on Wednesday the 13th July 2016 and promises to be an eclectic mix with something for everyone. Highlights will include a 1960’s Japanese tinplate robot, Hornby O gauge railway items, a large selection of vinyl records and further cigarette cards from a large private collection.

Entries are invited.


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