Garden Collectibles: Wildflower Cigarette Cards

If you like to collect gardening paraphernalia then I have something fun to show you. My friend Lisa, whose wonderful antiques and collectibles have been displayed here before, has shared with me, another wonderful garden-related collection.

Learn about wildflower cigarette collectible cards with beautiful prints in 50 different varieties.

This is a complete set of wildflower trading cards produced in the 1930s from the Wills Cigarette Co. That’s right, cigarettes. In the time before the health professionals knew that smoking was very bad for your health, just about everyone smoked cigarettes, and these cards became a form of advertising for the manufacturer.

Learn about wildflower cigarette collectible cards with beautiful prints in 50 different varieties.

W.D. & H.O. Wills, a British tobacco importer and cigarette manufacturer from Bristol, England, was one of the first UK tobacco companies to include advertising cards in their packs of cigarettes. One of the first themes was “Ships and Sailor” however they made cards that covered everything from sports to entertainment, and even some curious ones like “Air Raid Precautions.”

Learn about wildflower cigarette collectible cards with beautiful prints in 50 different varieties.

While researching these beauties I came across and article from Bob Villa talking about a set of Wills cards titled “Household Hints.” The author talks about collecting the cards as an art called Cartophily. Yes, there is actually a name for people who collect cigarette cards.

According to an article from Wikipedia, one of the more notable cards was one of Honus Wagner, a baseball player from my hometown of Pittsburgh, PA from the early 1900s. This card was reported to sell for around 2 million dollars. Unfortunately this wildflower set is not as coveted. They can be found for sale on Etsy and Ebay in the $30-40 range for the set of 50.

Each card measures approximately  1 1/2″ x 2 5/8.” The front depicts a beautiful vivid picture of the flower and its common name.

Learn about wildflower cigarette collectible cards with beautiful prints in 50 different varieties.

On the back you will see the common name, the scientific name, and an interesting colloquial description of the flower.

Learn about wildflower cigarette collectible cards with beautiful prints in 50 different varieties.

The back side also has a number on it  from 1 to 50, so you will know if you have collected a complete set.

Learn about wildflower cigarette collectible cards with beautiful prints in 50 different varieties.

I had a lot of fun reading about each wildflower. Since they are native to the UK some of them are a little different from those in the US. Interestingly, like some plants one might consider weeds, many of these “wildflowers” are now hybridized and sold for a fair amount of money to the modern gardener.

Learn about wildflower cigarette collectible cards with beautiful prints in 50 different varieties.

About Patti Estep

Patti is the creator of Garden Matter, a home and garden blog filled with projects to inspire your creative side. She loves crafting, gardening, decorating and entertaining at her home in Pennsylvania. When she is not working on a project at home or searching for treasures at nurseries and thrift stores with her girlfriends, you’ll probably find her with family and friends, at a restaurant, or home party enjoying new and different food adventures.

Affiliate Account Garden Matter/Patti Estep is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.






Comments

  1. Wow in all of my years of antiquing I have never seen these. What a beautiful collection. I have had cigarette cards but never this style. I love them. I will share this with my garden club. Thanks.

    • Hi Cookie,

      So glad you like them. Lisa has some beautiful garden collections and I’m so lucky that she shares them with me and now my viewers.
      Have a great week and thanks for your warm comments and for stopping by,
      Patti

  2. You always make my collections looks so nice! I enjoyed reading this post and learning about my cards. I bought them on EBay years ago because they were pretty. Great post Patti!

  3. This is so interesting. I did not know they made cigarette cards for collection. I love vintage flower illustrations. Now I will have to keep my eyes peeled for these when I shop antiques or thrift stores. Sometimes you find hidden treasures like this.

Leave a Comment

*