Research Catalog

Tobacco dealer's trade cards, labels and wrappers

Tobacco dealer's trade cards, labels and wrappers [graphic]

Available Online

NYPL Digital Collections


Additional Authors
Hogarth, William, 1697-1764.
544 prints : engraving, etching, wood engraving, lithograph; 5 x 5 cm. - 22 x 33 cm. (folded to 15 cm.) on mounts approx. 29 x 22 cm.
  • The majority of the cards depict those devices or signs common to the trade: Indians, "blackamoors," tobacco rolls, and Scots Highlanders. Also included are images of the tobacco plant and processes of cultivation and trade, including sailing vessels; portraits of persons traditionally associated with tobacco, such as Sir Walter Raleigh; representations of historical events such as the Walpole Excise Bill and balloon ascensions of the late 18th century; decorative cards showing scrolls, figures, ornaments and devices, including heraldic devices; and convivial or facetious scenes including men drinking and smoking, "the man in the moon," and puns on tobacconists' names. Of less frequent occurrence are the cards with Cupids or Bacchus, Grand Turk, Masonic and Order of Bucks symbols, and cards that advertise other wares or professions than that associated with tobacco.
  • Some cards include charades, anagrams, conundrums, or puzzles. Some include sententious or moral phrases and rhymes. The legends which most commonly occur are "Best under the sun," "Best Virginia," and "Sweet scented."
Alternative Title
Old tobacco dealers trade cards and pictorial papers: the Gosden, Daniel, Bragge, Hodgkin and Arents Collection.
  • Advertising cards.
  • Coats of arms.
  • Portraits.
  • Riddles.
  • Emblems.
  • Engravings.
  • Etchings.
  • Lithographs.
  • Prints – Dutch.
  • Prints – English.
  • Prints – French.
  • Prints – German.
  • Wood-engraving.
  • Makers of prints mostly not known; engravers include William Hogarth and others.
  • Illustrated cards advertising the wares of various tobacco merchants primarily of England, and also including French, Dutch and German issues. There are also examples of labels and wrappers, and other smoking related prints. Legends are in English, French, Dutch, German and Latin.
Access (note)
  • Restricted access;
Indexed In (note)
  • Arents, G. Tobacco
Provenance (note)
  • From the collections of Thomas Gosden, George Daniel, William Bragge and J. Eliot Hodgkin and George Arents, and later additions from various sources
Call Number
Arents 1145
Tobacco dealer's trade cards, labels and wrappers [graphic]
Restricted Access
Restricted access; Arents Collection; Permit must be requested at the division indicated.
Indexed In:
Arents, G. Tobacco 1145.
Finding Aids
Detailed finding aid available.
Connect to:
NYPL Digital Collections
Request access to this item in the Schwarzman Rare Books Collection
Added Author
Bragge, William, 1823-1884. Former owner
Daniel, George, 1789-1864. Former owner
Gosden, Thomas, 1780-1840. Former owner
Hodgkin, John Eliot. Former owner
Hogarth, William, 1697-1764. Engraver
Spine Title
Old tobacco dealers trade cards and pictorial papers: the Gosden, Daniel, Bragge, Hodgkin and Arents Collection.
Research Call Number
Arents 1145
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