A little vignette to accompany my Portobello Road article, On The Trail Of Notting Hill: Portobello Road Markets.
One of the antique sellers’ stalls I visited with my daughter, Mlle, was Portobello Road Cigarette Cards, where we had an interesting chat with the stall owner, David Banks, about the history of cigarette card collecting. The cards were placed, one card only, inside packets of cigarettes and were popular in Great Britain and other countries from about 1900 to 1940. According to David, “Competition between tobacco companies for brand loyalty forced the quality of the cards ever higher… many of the original cards have become extremely scarce and now attract high prices in the collectors market.”
All of the original cards have the date of issue written on the back. Reprints, which have become popular over the past 20 years or so, don’t have a year of issue written on them – only a price. This distinguishing feature is very important if anyone ever tries to sell you an original set of cigarette cards without a date written on them! Mlle had been eyeing off a print of Alice in Wonderland cigarette cards for a few weeks but fortuitously with the arrival of Maman Le Chic En Rose and her credit card, she was able to purchase it!
The cards are reprints of the original illustrations in the first edition of Alice In Wonderland by Sir John Tenniel and the back of the print states that the cards came from 1930.
Visiting the Portobello Road Markets was one of the highlights of my trip to London in April. They are well worth checking out – if you’re down that way you might source yourself a bargain or discover some hidden treasures! Back “Down Under” more stories from my travels in Western Australia’s south west coming up on the blog soon! In the meantime wishing everyone a lovely weekend!
Copyright © 2015 Rosemary Thomas Le Chic En Rose. All rights reserved