The home of the Cartophilic Society of Great Britain

february 20

welcome to another week with “Notes and News”  

May we welcome all our readers, and hope you are coping o.k. with whatever life throws at you. It will be a miracle if this gets up in time, but lets give it a go. 

PictureWell another week has disappeared, and it is almost time for the big reveal as to the next stage of our lockdown, or perhaps even the beginning of our release. In the Card-World, we have been visiting China for Chinese New Year, which I have found quite inspiring, and would like to take this opportunity to say many thanks to all the readers who have taken part by sending scans and by writing articles. It has been great fun going to my inbox every day and finding new items. And long may that continue.
If you missed any of this week’s events, then just head over to and hit the “MORE” button top right.
It has been so successful that we have pleasure in announcing that we will keep it running until the end of their festival, so another week of Oriental delights awaits you.
And if you have anything to add, scans or words, just send it along to and we will be delighted to add it.

our card is W.D. & H.O. Wills “Wonders of the Past” (1926) 24/50

And now for our regular time travelling trip through cards past …

PictureOn February 19, 1878, a clerk in the US Patent Office granted protection to a Thomas Edison. This was not for a machine, but for an action, a method of capturing sound by embossing it on to a wax cylinder so that it could be replayed whenever desired. Actually it was a chance discovery, when Thomas Edison made the link between his work on recording Morse code, and being able to use the same process for recording other kinds of sounds. If you look here, this shows the machine, and the cylinder is right in the centre with the two brass ends. The reverse of the same card tells us that Edison had introduced “the first complete Phonograph” just two years earlier in 1876. Curiously, it also tells us that he was not the first to make an instrument “which was capable of automatically registering sounds” – that was “as long ago as 1856”. However I have not been able to track this down. But research will continue

Our card is W.D. & H.O. Wills “Famous Inventions” (1915) 9/50

PictureFebruary 20 is Cherry Pie Day, so bear that in mind when ordering or selecting your dessert of the day. There seems to be strong support, especially in America, for the fact that it is associated with the American President George Washington in some way; the date is close to President`s Day, and it was a cherry tree that he “could not tell a lie” about chopping down. But nobody knows for sure. It does seem unlikely that this is peak picking time, as the cherry tree in my garden is only just coming into bud. It was sold as a cherry, but the fruit is appallingly sour. However it will be some months yet before it would be time to make a pie. In China, as in Japan, going to a public garden to see the cherry blossom come into flower is a yearly event, but this also takes place from late March to late April, and you do not get the fruit until the blossom has come, flowered, and fallen.

So it seems quite impossible to make a cherry pie fresh from the tree at this time of year.

Our card is Lambert and Butler “British Trees and their Uses” (1927) 7/25

Now as we mentioned in our article about Chinese New Year Calendar cards,  a momentous event took place on February 21, 1972, when American President Richard Nixon visited China. This was the first ever visit of a serving President, and it was seen as a chance for the two countries to start to grow together, and for a while it did seem that good links would result. However the problem, as always, is that successive Presidents are not always of the same mindset. So often just as closeness starts to grow, things change. You will find a fascinating insight into that week at   

And don`t miss the spin off to that calendar cards article at

We would have liked to bring you either the single or three face version of Brooke Bond Place the Face Bingo, from 1972, as this features President Nixon. However we cant track one down. 

PictureThis year, Fairtrade Fortnight will last from the 22nd of February to the 7th of March. So do consider this when you are shopping. You will find that most of the leading supermarkets will be setting up displays, running special offers, or just highlighting the Fairtrade brands they sell in their news-sheets, so do take note. China is not at the top of the Fairtrade Countries list, yet, but you will probably be able to find their tea, coffee, spices, and nuts at most supermarkets. Coffee, by the way, is the number one Fairtrade product, but it was really only successfully introduced to China in 1988. 

We have selected this Lambert and Butler card (London Characters 7/25) as a neat link to our current magazine, which this set features in. And I am sorry to say I have not come across it before. 

February 23 is a rather strange one as it is International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day. Of course nobody appreciates a dog biscuit as much as a dog. If you hunt hard, you will find trade cards for dog biscuits, as well as other advertising ephemera and metal signs. Spratt`s, the makers of Bonio “the bone shaped biscuits” is an especially good thread to follow. And you will also find dog biscuits, and puppy biscuits, advertised on the side panel of Spratt`s “Champion Dogs” – you get different products on each card, and as proof that they know their dogs, card 20, of the West Highland White Terrier, says “Wash your dog regularly with SPRATT`S DOG SOAP or “FOMO” the shampoo de luxe”. On which I have to add that no dog I ever knew had FOMO when it came to baths (Fear Of Missing Out). Strangely enough this shampoo contained an antiseptic to combat itchy skin, something the poor westie is especially prone to.

PictureOn February 24 1881, China signed the Treaty of Saint Petersburg, and the Russian Empire started to prepare to give back the eastern part of their country, now Kazakstan, which had been occupied by Russia since 1871. Areas of China and Russia had been disputed for many centuries, since the 1680s, and would continue to erupt into border skirmishes and annexations, with most occurring between 1851 and 1898. There have also been more recent occurrences, especially after the Boxer Rebellion in 1901, and many and various pacts between the Soviet Union and Republic of China have taken place since the late 1920s, the longest lasting being the Treaty of Friendship, Alliance and Mutual Assistance which lasted from 1950 to 1991

This is one of a series of trade cards issued by several European manufacturers, including Chocolat Louit, from 1900 until about 1911. If you look at the bamboo frame there is an empty box, in which sometimes appears the name of the issuer. They show scenes, sometimes rather bloodthirsty ones, from the Chinese Wars. Several have been scanned for us by Patrick Marks, and you can see them if you scroll down past the large format Van Houten cards at


February 25 and 26
This has become a two day celebration; on the first day you make sure your lanterns are ready to fly, and that you have everything you need to light them.

The actual Lantern Festival takes place on the second day, which is the first full moon of the year – this year that will be on the 26th, so that is when we will celebrate the end of the Chinese New Year. In times past, many would gather on hillsides above the cities and release their flying lanterns into the sky, This year we fear the celebration will be more introspective, and return to the simple pleasures of moon and star gazing, but perhaps a lantern may pass our way. 

However I doubt it will be a lantern like the one we show, which comes from British American Tobacco`s – ‘Beauties – Lantern Girls’ (1903). And if you would like to add a lantern or two to your album to remember this most enjoyable week, there are several in the stock of one of our regular advertisers and supporters. You can see them all at : 

Just like the lanterns will hopefully do, this week seems also to have flown past.

I did find out something very interesting though, that being that on the 1st of March 2017, a selection of bound volumes appeared in the saleroom at Loddon Auctions. The descriptions of these were “Lot 143 – Cigarette card magazines, a full set of Cameric Notes & News magazine, all professionally bound & in excellent condition, Vol 1, May 1946 to Vol 15, Nov/Dec 1964, 14 bound volumes in total (ex)” and “Lot 144 – Cigarette card magazines, a full set of CSGB magazines, all professionally bound & in excellent condition, 1939 to 1985, nos 1-134, The Bulletin, Cartophilic World & Cartophilic Notes & News, 12 volumes (ex)”. So did you buy these, or know who did? I will not ask what they sold for, because the next question is are they currently for sale?

I will leave you to ponder that.

This week our cards of the day were all supplied by readers, and some of them even included specially written articles. If you missed any of  those, a link appears to where they can be read, or re-read.

Our Current Special Event

ZK01-170 [tobacco : OS] British American Tobacco “Chinese Pagodas” (A) (1911) 1/25.
Now the caption here says this image is from the anonymous extra large sized cards with postcard style backs, and were issued through Wills with “Pirate” Cigarettes. They are listed as 200-366B in our original Reference Book RB21 (the B.A.T. Booklet) first issued in 1952 – the “200” referring to the five Wills books. I am not so sure this is the correct identity, just by looking at the shape, as the set was also issued in a smaller size by Murai, whose cards have blue printed backs showing a packet of “Peacock” Cigarettes. The Murai set actually includes 50 cards as they reversed each image and you can find the same pagoda facing to the left or to the right. Then there is also an anonymous form with plain backs, though both this and the Murai small size cards can be found with glossy or matt fronts, so there is definitely a connection. The sets are numbered but the numbers are present, but very light, so if you can supply the number of this picture from off your card, many thanks!

I have to say that this is the first time I have ever sat and tried to fathom out the B.A.T. Booklet, usually I look and give up. However perseverance has led to a result. So I will not give up so quickly in future. Mine is the original, which is now quite scarcely seen, and I am its fourth owner. However the book is available as a reprint from our bookshop, and if you are a collector of Overseas Issues or British American Tobacco it would be a useful buy. To save time and energy returning to the bookshelf, note that you can get a combined version which contains RB18 (The Tobacco War Booklet), this book’s prequel, and also this work RB21. I have the original five Wills, but use the combined volume more. And it also saves wear and tear on those originals.

Mind you having said that I can’t find the reference code for ;

PictureSATURDAY 13
[tobacco: OS] British American Tobacco “Hints on Association Football” (A)
listed as 217-112 in our original Reference Book RB21 (the B.A.T. Booklet) first issued in 1952. This Anonymous Chinese Language back, which is only a series of 48 cards, is identical to the Player Home Issue of the same name, and a Spanish issue entitled “La Tecnica del Foot-Ball. I have not seen the Spanish issue, but again the subjects were redrawn, there are fifty cards, and whilst the first 25 cards are branded for Cia. Nacional de Tabacos of Buenos Aires, Argentina, the next 25 are not. However according to our latest World Tobacco Issues Index pt.II, the two sets are definitely linked and appear as NO15-180A and 180B.


Sunday 14
U450-100 [tobacco : UK] United Kingdom Tobacco Co. Ltd “Chinese Scenes” 15/24.
United Kingdom Tobacco were founded in 1907 and became a branch of Godfrey Phillips. They issued cards between 1929 and 1937. This set was issued with “My Princess” Cigarettes, and proudly stated they were “Made in London”. The set is a fascinating one, and may have been the first glimpse into the Orient that some smokers had ever seen.
The Great Wall of China is discussed at

Monday 15 –
[trade : OS] This bright and colourful card was issued by Chocolate Pupier in the 1930s, possibly 1938. They had already covered Japan in 1936. Some of you may consider this more of a label than a card, and it is quite thin. It shows a street scene of the time, complete with hanging advertising banners. Note the rickshaws, and also that already things were becoming more modern, as if you look closely there is a grey car between the rickshaws, look for the two wheels, one is the spare, on the running board. On the back of the nearest rickshaw to the left hand edge you will see the card has been officially perforated with “CP”, perhaps this is a way to prove the card has been redeemed ?
Is there anyone out there who knows more and would like to tell us?
Chocolat Pupier was founded by Jean-Louis Pupier in Saint-Etienne, France, in the 1860s. His son took over in 1895 and his sons in 1919. One of their factories had been converted during the First World War into a 250 bed auxiliary hospital for wounded soldiers, in fact a card sent by a wounded soldier is currently on sale on Delcampe – you can see that at (I do not know the vendor, but it would be fun if they were to spot this and get in touch. And if one of us does decide to add it to your collection, do let them know how you found it! Actually if you are a collector, delcampe is the place to go – when I researched this there were 4,095 Chocolat Pupier items on sale. These cards, featuring scenes from Africa, Asia and Europe, were used as part of a gift scheme, which traded completed sets for other items. You can see a host of images at  The company was bought out in 1937, though the name was retained, and they continued to issue cards. You can see a set of their 1950s footballers at


Tuesday 16 –
[trade : OS] You can read all about Van Houten “Chinese Scenes”, courtesy of Patrick Marks, and see the extraordinary blown up images at

PictureWednesday 17 –
[tobacco : UK] A Baker & Co. “Beauties of all Nations”.
A. Baker and Co were at 65 Holloway Road, London. In March 1898 they re-registered as Albert Baker and Co. Their brands have wonderful names, as shown on the back of this card, like Nutt’s Virginia Cigarettes, and Blue Stocking.


Thursday 18 –
[trade : OS] Ghirardelli`s Milk Chocolate “Motion Picture Stars” 
The first ever Ghirardelli store was a general store, opened in 1849, in Stockton, California, and it sold items to the miners who were en route to the diggings. He later opened a second store in San Francisco. His first “chocolate shop” opened in 1852. Their first “cinema star” cards were issued in the 1920s and showed silent stars. This card dates from slightly later. You can read all about Anna May Wong, courtesy of Dennis Owyang, and Mark Evans, at


Friday 19 –
All I have for a title here is “Chinese opera masks (factory back)” – however it is complete with an article at   all about Chinese masks which I never realised were so fascinating. It also adds a curious thought to how we should be viewing our current mask-reliant state, especially if the news on the 22nd does not prove to be good.

And sadly, that brings us full circle, and is also all there is time for until another week. 
Also, if I tinker after hours our regular early birds miss out on the finished article. 
except that this week I am a few cards still missing, so watch the home page for news!
But whatever time you are reading, thanks for dropping by, and come back next week!
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hey are free for all to read, society member or not.
And if you missed last week`s you can find it at

Of course you will find more knowledgeable, in-depth articles on, and research into all cards, from vintage rarities to brand new issues in our bi-monthly magazine, which is only available to Society Members; you can’t buy it at fairs or in shops. So if you would like more details on how to become a member of our Society, please click HERE.

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