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Cigarette Cards

Cigarette cards, also called tobacco cards, were trading cards that tobacco companies placed in cigarette packages to stiffen the sides. They contained advertising and were illustrated with many different types of pictures. These early collector cards were the predecessors of today's baseball cards and other types of trading cards.

The Allen and Ginter Tobacco Company of Richmond, Virginia was the first tobacco company to place cigarette cards with advertising in their packages. The company began producing the cards in 1875. The cards were illustrated with pictures of famous actresses, baseball players, boxers, horses, and Indian chiefs. Other tobacco companies followed suit and the practice spread to the United Kingdom in the 1880s.

The most famous cigarette cards are called T sets. There are five T sets, all depicting baseball players. These cards are some of the most sought after for both cigarette card and baseball card collectors. Cigarette cards remained popular until World War I, when paper rationing severely limited the ability to produce cards.


Quick Facts

  • The most famous and most valuable cigarette card is the Honus Wagner card from set T 206. In 2013, a Honus Wagner card sold at auction for $2.1 million
  • Cigarette cards were usually a part of numbered sets. Collectors refer to these set numbers when referencing specific cards. Collector albums for cigarette card sets were also produced
  • While some baseball cigarette cards are extremely valuable, there are many affordable examples available. Non-sports cards can often be purchased for about $10 each

Recommended Items at Auction

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1930's John Player & Sons Cigarette lot
Oct 12, 8:00 PM EDT
1930's John Player & Sons Cigarette lot
by Gem-Mint Auctions, LLC.
Est: $50- $200
$152 Bids
1929 Ogdens Cigarettes Derby Entrants
Oct 12, 8:00 PM EDT
1929 Ogdens Cigarettes Derby Entrants
by Gem-Mint Auctions, LLC.
Est: $50- $200
$102 Bids
Gallagher Cigarette lot
Oct 12, 8:00 PM EDT
Gallagher Cigarette lot
by Gem-Mint Auctions, LLC.
Est: $50- $200
$51 Bid
1938 Player Cigarette lot
Oct 12, 8:00 PM EDT
1938 Player Cigarette lot
by Gem-Mint Auctions, LLC.
Est: $50- $200
$51 Bid
1939 Wills Cigarettes lot
Oct 12, 8:00 PM EDT
1939 Wills Cigarettes lot
by Gem-Mint Auctions, LLC.
Est: $50- $200
$51 Bid
1930's John Player & Sons Cigarette lot
Oct 12, 8:00 PM EDT
1930's John Player & Sons Cigarette lot
by Gem-Mint Auctions, LLC.
Est: $50- $200
$51 Bid
1928 Army Club Cigarettes lot
Oct 12, 8:00 PM EDT
1928 Army Club Cigarettes lot
by Gem-Mint Auctions, LLC.
Est: $50- $200
$51 Bid
1937 Carreras Cigarette lot
Oct 12, 8:00 PM EDT
1937 Carreras Cigarette lot
by Gem-Mint Auctions, LLC.
Est: $50- $200
$51 Bid
1937 Chruchmans Cigarette lot
Oct 12, 8:00 PM EDT
1937 Chruchmans Cigarette lot
by Gem-Mint Auctions, LLC.
Est: $50- $200
$51 Bid
Trade and Tobacco Card Collection
Oct 15, 9:00 AM EDT
Trade and Tobacco Card Collection
by Copake Auction Inc.
Est: $200- $300
$1001 Bid
The World War WW1 German Tobacco Card Album
Oct 15, 9:00 AM CDT
The World War WW1 German Tobacco Card Album
by Matthew Bullock Auctioneers
Est: $30- $300
$151 Bid
Book & Cigarette Card Lot
Oct 15, 9:00 AM EDT
Book & Cigarette Card Lot
by Copake Auction Inc.
Est: $50- $75
$200 Bids
ALLEN & GINTER WEAPONS CIGARETTE CARDS
Oct 08, 12:00 PM EDT
ALLEN & GINTER WEAPONS CIGARETTE CARDS
by Blackwell Auctions LLC
Est: $200- $400
$1000 Bids
SHAKESPEAREAN ROLES CIGARETTE CARD COLLECTION
Oct 09, 2:00 PM PDT
SHAKESPEAREAN ROLES CIGARETTE CARD COLLECTION
by District Auction
Est: $30- $50
$150 Bids
Players Cigarettes Automobile Lot
Oct 15, 9:00 AM EDT
Players Cigarettes Automobile Lot
by Copake Auction Inc.
Est: $50- $75
$200 Bids
ALLEN & GINTER BIRDS CIGARETTE CARDS
Oct 08, 12:00 PM EDT
ALLEN & GINTER BIRDS CIGARETTE CARDS
by Blackwell Auctions LLC
Est: $200- $400
$1000 Bids
Bicycle Trade Cards
Oct 15, 9:00 AM EDT
Bicycle Trade Cards
by Copake Auction Inc.
Est: $50- $75
$200 Bids
Group Of 75 Imperial Tobacco mini Train Cards
Oct 09, 9:00 AM CDT
Group Of 75 Imperial Tobacco mini Train Cards
by Matthew Bullock Auctioneers
Est: $30- $300
$150 Bids
Group Of 49 Imperial Tobacco Mini Train Cards
Oct 09, 9:00 AM CDT
Group Of 49 Imperial Tobacco Mini Train Cards
by Matthew Bullock Auctioneers
Est: $30- $300
$150 Bids
Framed Reproduction Cigarette Cards
Oct 08, 1:00 PM EDT
Framed Reproduction Cigarette Cards
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $75- $750
$700 Bids
Abdulla Cigarettes Automobile Tobacco Cards Album
Oct 15, 9:00 AM CDT
Abdulla Cigarettes Automobile Tobacco Cards Album
by Matthew Bullock Auctioneers
Est: $30- $300
$150 Bids
OLD WEST AND MILITARY CIGARETTE CARDS [156173]
Oct 13, 8:00 AM PDT
OLD WEST AND MILITARY CIGARETTE CARDS [156173]
by Holabird Western Americana
Est: $300- $500
$1500 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Cigarette Cards


Gem-Mint Auctions, LLC.

Gem-Mint Auctions, LLC.

Copake Auction Inc.

Copake Auction Inc.

Matthew Bullock Auctioneers

Matthew Bullock Auctioneers

Blackwell Auctions LLC

Blackwell Auctions LLC