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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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ORIGINAL TY COBB SWEET CAPORAL & 7 OTHERS
Apr 24, 9:00 AM CDT
ORIGINAL TY COBB SWEET CAPORAL & 7 OTHERS
by Jackson's International
Est: $800- $1,200
$9006 Bids
(38) Wills Cigarette Town Arms Cards
Apr 15, 2:00 PM EDT
(38) Wills Cigarette Town Arms Cards
by Saco River Auction
Est: $30- $40
$306 Bids
(23) Vintage Player Cigarette Cards
Apr 15, 2:00 PM EDT
(23) Vintage Player Cigarette Cards
by Saco River Auction
Est: $30- $40
$305 Bids
(12) Wills Cigarettes Train Cards
Apr 15, 2:00 PM EDT
(12) Wills Cigarettes Train Cards
by Saco River Auction
Est: $30- $40
$253 Bids
(18) 1927 British Tobacco Cards
Apr 15, 2:00 PM EDT
(18) 1927 British Tobacco Cards
by Saco River Auction
Est: $30- $40
$102 Bids
(15) Vintage Tobacco Cards
Apr 15, 2:00 PM EDT
(15) Vintage Tobacco Cards
by Saco River Auction
Est: $30- $40
$102 Bids
Group of Navy, Honest Long Cut, Dukes Special tobacco cards and more
Apr 19, 10:00 AM EDT
Group of Navy, Honest Long Cut, Dukes Special tobacco cards and more
by Schultz Auctioneers
Est: $100- $200
$752 Bids
Bag of 1900's Cigarette Cards
Apr 16, 9:00 AM EDT
Bag of 1900's Cigarette Cards
by Wehrly's Auction Service
Est: $0- $0
$102 Bids
1901 Ogden's Cigarettes Sinopi Card
Apr 15, 2:00 PM EDT
1901 Ogden's Cigarettes Sinopi Card
by Saco River Auction
Est: $50- $100
$51 Bid
[FOOTBALL]. 140 Cigarette Cards of College Football Flags. ...
Apr 18, 10:00 AM CDT
[FOOTBALL]. 140 Cigarette Cards of College Football Flags. ...
by Potter & Potter Auctions Inc.
Est: $150- $250
$801 Bid
Mixed lot of Wills cigarette cards, Perfection buttons, Central High stickpin and more
Apr 19, 10:00 AM EDT
Mixed lot of Wills cigarette cards, Perfection buttons, Central High stickpin and more
by Schultz Auctioneers
Est: $100- $200
$501 Bid
Mixed lot of cigarette, tobacco cards and more. Sweet Caporal, Dukes, Turkey Red etc.
Apr 19, 10:00 AM EDT
Mixed lot of cigarette, tobacco cards and more. Sweet Caporal, Dukes, Turkey Red etc.
by Schultz Auctioneers
Est: $100- $200
$501 Bid
A GERMAN ZEPPELIN CIGARETTE CARD ALBUM 'ZEPPELIN-WELTAHRTEN', 1933
Apr 21, 11:00 AM EDT
A GERMAN ZEPPELIN CIGARETTE CARD ALBUM 'ZEPPELIN-WELTAHRTEN', 1933
by Helios Auctions
Est: $150- $200
$1000 Bids
(21) Will's Cigarettes Animalloys Cards
Apr 15, 2:00 PM EDT
(21) Will's Cigarettes Animalloys Cards
by Saco River Auction
Est: $30- $40
$50 Bids
(3) Will's Cigarettes Cards 1917
Apr 15, 2:00 PM EDT
(3) Will's Cigarettes Cards 1917
by Saco River Auction
Est: $30- $40
$50 Bids
(9) 1934 CONSTANTIN GOLD FILM MOVIE STAR CIGARETTE CARDS
Apr 14, 6:00 PM CDT
(9) 1934 CONSTANTIN GOLD FILM MOVIE STAR CIGARETTE CARDS
by Ramblin Rose Auction Co
Est: $0- $0
$500 Bids
1910 HASSAN CIGARETTES T218 SGC 1
Apr 18, 11:00 AM EDT
1910 HASSAN CIGARETTES T218 SGC 1
by Vintage Auctions
Est: $50- $100
$100 Bids
1910 HASSAN CIGARETTES T218 SGC 1
Apr 18, 11:00 AM EDT
1910 HASSAN CIGARETTES T218 SGC 1
by Vintage Auctions
Est: $50- $100
$100 Bids
[SPORTS]. Allen & Ginter’s “World’s Champions” tobacco card...
Apr 18, 10:00 AM CDT
[SPORTS]. Allen & Ginter’s “World’s Champions” tobacco card...
by Potter & Potter Auctions Inc.
Est: $500- $700
$2500 Bids
1910 MECCA CIGARETTES T220 GOODMAN
Apr 18, 11:00 AM EDT
1910 MECCA CIGARETTES T220 GOODMAN
by Vintage Auctions
Est: $30- $60
$100 Bids
Two Die Welt in Bildern, Cigarette Card Albums
Apr 26, 10:00 AM EDT
Two Die Welt in Bildern, Cigarette Card Albums
by Nye & Company
Est: $50- $25,000
$200 Bids
Group of 5 Real Photo Cigarette Cards
Apr 27, 9:00 AM CDT
Group of 5 Real Photo Cigarette Cards
by Matthew Bullock Auctioneers
Est: $30- $300
$150 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Cigarette Cards


Saco River Auction

Saco River Auction

Vintage Auctions

Vintage Auctions

Potter & Potter Auctions Inc.

Potter & Potter Auctions Inc.