Studdying with Bonzo

Cigarette & Trade Cards

Several British companies issued 'cigarette' cards, each company using the same set of cards, only the reverse of the card differing between publishers. The set of 25 cards shown below were issued by Singleton & Coles, John Player & Son Ltd and Spratt's Dog Food in the UK while overseas the same set were issued by United Tobacco (South Africa), the makers of 'C.toC. ' Rhodesian Virginia cigarettes. British American Tobacco (B.A.T.) issued two sets, one with a title heading, the other without, both sets had plain backs to the cards. Finally, and rarest of all, a set issued by Jahamdesrivaux & Albert under the "Three Roses" brand name. These cards were issued in Fort de France, Martinique and the World Index of Tobacco Cards lists this as the only set from this company. The 25 images and the numbering were all the same although the front layout differed slightly between issuers.

Players reverse Spratts reverse Singleton & Cole reverse C to C Rhodesian reverse
John Player & Sons Spratts Singleton & Cole United Tobacco, 'CtoC' Jahamdesrivaux & Albert

Cards 1-5
Cards 6-10
Cards 11-15
Cards 16-20
Cards 21-25

A relatively rare series of cards issued in Austria/Germany under the title 'Lustige Bilder' ('Funny Pictures') consisted of 186 designs - 54 showing Bonzo, the remaining 132 showing Gran'pop/Lawson Wood designs. The set was issued as a composite of 2 sizes by eight different companies - the designs and numbering were identical. The two card sizes were 55 x 38mm (total of 96 designs) and 74 x 51mm (total of 90 designs). Complete sets of cards by mixed publishers are fairly common but complete sets issued by a single company are extremely rare. The eight companies issuing these cards were Austria Zigaretten (branded 'Drama'), Brinkmann (branded 'Lloyd Zigaretten'), Greiling (branded 'Schwarz Weiss'), Jasmatzi (branded 'Unsere Marine'), Massary (branded 'Caid'), Orienta Stern, Polo and Zuban. (Information taken from the World Tobacco Issues Index). The cards were designed to have the verse at the base of the card removed prior to the card being stuck into an album - these cut down cards are quite easy to find and are more common than the uncut cards, however a full album in good condition is more of a rarity.

Drama (Austria Zigaretten) Lloyd Zigaretten (Brinkmann) Schwarz Weiss (Greiling Zigaretten) Unsere Marine (Jasmatzi)
Caid (Massary) Orienta Stern Polo Zuban No.6
Lustige Bilder Album, 1938

A further set of 'Lustige Bilder' cards was issued by Greiling under the brand name 'Juwel' and were produced for an album that looked identical, from the outside, as the multi-issuer set. This set was larger than the original, consisting of a total of 234 cards. Unlike the set mentioned earlier, the cards here were all the same size, and larger than either of those mentioned previously. The reverse of the card showed drawings of Bonzo and Gran'pop, and while the images were the same size as the bigger cards from the set above the verse was slightly bigger meaning that the overall card size was correspondingly larger. These cards are harder to find than those above, the albums especially so.

Juwel (Greiling Zigaretten)

There is also a much, much rarer card publisher, P.A. Larsen of Norway, who issued several sets of cards, the largest single set consisting of 380 or more cards under the brand name Sossidi Cigaretter with at least 6 other mini-sets, A-F, each of 12 cards, plus additional mini-sets within the main set which are numbered as A-D. There is also a further set of un-numbered cards where the total in the set is completely unknown to me issued by Larsen under the brand name Bonzo Tyrkisk. The quality of the images for some of the the mini-sets is indicative that Studdy was probably not the illustrator but the cards themselves, from any set, are exceedingly scarce. The main set, drawn by Studdy was printed with several different images on the reverse, the second type appears to be limited to the higher numbers of the set but text-only backs are known. The 4-card mini-sets have text-only backs (4-price or 5-price) and the un-numbered cards (the latter was drawn by Studdy) in the Bonzo set have text-only, backs. Click here to view the Larsen card images page. Torfinn Jaasund in Norway has provided the following information, which I have added to, outlining the appearance of the various card backs while Stein-Ljodvar Juul in Norway added information that showed the full set contains at least 380 cards; he also provided the images for all the cards numbered 329+ shown on the images page.

There are seven different designs on the back of the Larsen cards and in chronological order these are: Plain, Hand-stamped advert, 4-Prices, 5-Prices, Sossidi heads, Sossidi figures (all for Sossidi Cigaretter) and Bonzo text for the Bonzo Tyrkisk set (this issue date of this last one compared to the others is uncertain). Cards known for each design are as follows:

Plain back: #'s 9, 20, 33, 40, 41.

Hand-stamped advert: #'s 1, 10, 29.

4-Prices: #'s 1, 3-8, 10-13, 15, 17, 18, 20, 23, 27, 30, 33-37, 39-42.

5-Prices: #'s 2, 3, 5-11, 13, 14 ,16-19, 22, 24-27, 30, 31, 34, 39, 43-54.

Sossidi heads: #'s 1-42, 64-231, 233-240.

Sossidi figures: #'s 232, 241-380.

Bonzo text: # 55 & all un-numbered cards.

Sossidi also produced Bonzo Turkish Cigarette packets and one such packet and trade card are shown below.

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Trade cards seem to be much less common, those shown below are from Norway and are in my own collection. There are three sets known to me, 'Godt Humør' & 'Godt Humør II' and 'Højt Humør'. The first of these, Godt Humør, was issued in 1938 by Danish company A/S Kaffesurrogatfabriken. This company produced a roasted barley extract used as a replacement or additive to coffee just prior to and during the Second World war. Each of the books contains 200 cards with the designs split between Bonzo and Lawson Woods' 'Gran' pop'; the 'split' varying from album to album. The cards were provided in small envelopes which, when opened, doubled as a checklist. The one shown here, from the Godt Humør II set, was issued in 1951. The Højt Humør set was issued sometime in the early 1960's, the exact date is unclear.

Godt Humor Album - Front Godt Humor Envelope - Front
Godt Humor Album - Back Godt Humor Envelope - Back
Godt Humør Album Godt Humør Album Envelope
Godt Humor II - Front Hojt Humor Album - Front
Godt Humor II - Back Hojt Humor Album - Back
Godt Humør II Album Hojt Humør Album

Front of trade card envelope Inside of trade card envelope {short description of image}
 Card Envelope - Outside Card Envelope - Inside  Godt Humør II Card - Reverse

From further afield a set of cards were issued in Uruguay that had a small section devoted to Bonzo. These cards were tiny, barely 25mm high; a few are shown here.

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Bonzo wasn't just depicted on cigarette cards in his cartoon form, he was also shown 'in the flesh' with actress Louise Brooks on a card issued by Jasmatzi under the title Hänsom Filmbilder. This image was also used on cigarette cards issued by Batschari (Mercedes Filmserie) and Manoli (Gold Filmserie) and as a postcard. Bonzo was also seen on postcards accompanied by other well known actresses including Brigitte Helm, Xenia Desni, Dorothy Lee and Lee Parry (see postcard pages).

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