Guaranteed to Visually Satisfy

(above) The Royal Ascot card of Archibald Wright “Moonlight” Graham, right fielder in a single major league game for the New York Giants on June 29th 1905. Part of the “50 Subjects of Interest” series.


The invention of color lithography in the 1870′s created a boom in product packaging and advertising, add that to the rise of the cigarette as a popular tobacco product and you get hundreds of  brands of cigerattes. brands with names like HinduCarolina BrightsPiedmont, HassanMuradSweet Caporal.  1909-1911 was the hey day of Tobacco cards, also know as T-206  set  to collectors. The American Tobacco Company (which had 16 brands that contained cards) introduced Royal Ascot cigarettes in 1910.  Royal Ascots held their own in ATC’s line -up and the brand thrived  until the early 20′s when for some unknown reason it was mysteriously discontinued. The only clue in the mystery is a telegram sent to the factory from the home office ordering production to cease without explanation.

(above)  A faded Royal Ascot advertisement  on an exterior wall of a factory.


(above) One of the few brands to attain a loyal following abroad in it’s day,Ascots were an extremely popular brand in Asia.


Like ATC’s other brands , Royal Ascots also included trading cards as a buying incentive. Though not as popular as it’s competitors sports card series, R.A. ‘s  ”50 Subjects of Interest” series is hard to come by on the collecting circuit due to it’s eclectic (some say odd) mix of subjects (obscure figures of the day, unknown baseball players, etc.) s. The mysterious history and discontinuing of the brand  along with it’s quirky images have led to it’s popularity 100 years later among collectors. Ascot cards in decent condition can sell for hundreds to thousands of dollars , which has invariably lead to a number of fake cards surfacing in recent years.

(above) An rare enameled Ascot advertisement (right) that was rescued from a junkyard (left). Not many turn up, and when they do they usually command top dollar.


(Above) The front (left) side panel , and back (right) of a 10 count box of Royal Ascot cigs.


I hope to collect all the  ”50 Subjects of Interest” series cards and post them as a group .


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