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Posts: 90
Reply with quote  #1 
With the recent discussion on Allen & Ginter early insert cards, I started looking at the U.S. vs. U.K. "versions" of this set. I'm hoping someone can enlighten me. First off, I can't find a single front lithograph that is the same in both. I agree that there's a good chance that the U.K. set was issued in the eau 1880's (presumably starting spring of 1882), but the U.S. issue date has been suggested to be 1887-1890 (literally from multiple sources)....I highly doubt this suggestion, as I suspect that by that time photographic cards had taken over in the U.S. (A&G may well have been the "leader" in this area at that time, so I can't believe that they'd resort to lithographed images of women, and pretty fuzzy at that, over the "real thing".

It appears to me that the U.K. "version" (N57-2) is a lot less common than the U.S. (N57-1), but if somebody is sitting on a "hoard of these cards", I'd love to see nice fronts posted (along with notation of the verse/tobacco brand on back....figure we ought to advance the hobby while we're at it).

Finally, here's the visual checklist of N57-1 that I've had for awhile...can anybody fill in nice images of the filling numbers? With I had a comparable start for N57-2, but unfortunately do not...again, would love to knock out about ~29 images on these!

Beauties_N57_Allen&Ginter_visualchecklist_C.jpg  Beauties_N57_Allen&Ginter_visualchecklist2_C.jpg

Chris Watson

Senior Member
Posts: 131
Reply with quote  #2 
Hi Chris,

Really nice to see your well-produced grids of cards. Along with Todd's site and the Gallery on this site, these are incredibly important snapshots of the hobby. I don't know if other similar sites exist?

I must find out how the CSGB lists are held. The CSGB World Tobacco Index (WTI) and the CRB 151 (which I refer to for all 'N' series cards) are by far the most comprehensive listings. I put the N57-1 and N57-2 extracts from CRB151 up in the A&G first insert card thread. In those pictures you can see all the known cards, at the time of printing (2014). So, you could fill your gaps from CRB151, although the size is small and the pictures would be fuzzy/low resolution.

CRB151 sets the numbering system, 1, 2 3 etc, by the order the cards were first identified. Its nice to see you are following the CSGB / World Index numbering system. It makes cross-checking things a lot easier. Todd's site also uses the CSGB numbering, but the Gallery (on this site) seems to stray off the WTI/CSGB published numbering.

In the A&G thread I provided a clipping showing the introduction of Our Little Beauties in late 1881 / Feb 1882 in the USA (as well as a clear link to N57-2 in May 1882 in the UK, through the common rhymes). And a clipping that shows the USA Our Little Beauties cigarettes contained insert cards. So I think these cards (or one of the similar A&G series) were first printed in 1882, not anywhere near as late as 1887-90. By this time A&G was using high quality lithography. I am somewhat suspicious of any 'source' that puts these N57-1 cards as late as 1887-90.

The N57-2 (UK version) is certainly very rare. I have no idea why there seems to be no overlap of the front design between N57-1 / N57-2. This does seem a little odd. As I think the N57-2 is the earliest known UK cigarette insert cards, I'm looking to follow-up on these and will gladly share more detailed information front/back, if I can get hold of it! I suspect a good number of them will be kept in the British Museum collection of Edward Wharton-Tigar.
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