- Museum number
The Edward Wharton-Tigar collection of trade cards (mostly cigarette cards), from the beginnings in the 1880s until the end of the twentieth century. The collection consists of four groups:
A. The series of sets in 195 large numbered solander boxes. These contain complete sets of cards of the Tobacco and British Trade sequences, one set for each design (ignoring duplicates where the same designs were issued by different firms).
B. The Type series in 153 slip-cases containing ring binder albums. These contain one card (only) from every set issued by each firm. Albums 1-84 contain Tobacco series in the order of the World Index, ordered by firm from A-Z regardless of country. From 85 onwards follow the British trade series alphabetically in the order of the British Trade Index. These albums were never completed, and stop at 152 (vol.153 is an addendum with various Continental issues). The cards that were intended to supplement the sequence (including the Continental trades) remain in five cardboard boxes/ filing drawers.
C. The series of Continental Trades (ie non-tobacco) housed in a 33 drawers in a chest of drawers. These contain complete sets of Continental issues.
D. Supplementary material. Beside the five boxes of cards meant to be added to the type series (see B above) there are three other boxes: one box containing albums with cards pasted in; one with modern cards; and one with advertising material on textiles.
- Production date
- Late 19thC-20thC
Height: 65 millimetres (average for standard small size)
Width: 38 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Edward Wharton-Tigar wrote his will in 1985, and from that point onwards began to arrange his collection and store it in a form recommended by the BM Department of Conservation. Unfortunately the arrangement was incomplete at his sudden death in 1995. Work was continued by his friends in the Cartophilic Society, in particular Ted Knight, but lapsed on his death in 2005. It is therefore still not entirely complete.
The collection was handed over to the BM in groups: the first and largest group was collected in 1998, a smaller group in 2001, and the last at the beginning of 2006. The whole collection has been given a register number to accord with the month of the final transfer.
The collection is kept at Blythe House, and the number of cards has never been counted: Edward Wharton-Tigar said that there were over a million and a half. For this reason they cannot be individually registered, not even as complete sets.
There is an index/listing of the boxed series of Sets in three ring binders; each sheet is numbered with its box number followed by the sheet number. There is also a ring-binder Index that indexes both the box and the type series.
There is a separate list of the Continental Trade series kept in a box beside the chest of drawers.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number