Cigarette Cards, Post Cards & 18th Century Tokens

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Sexy 1930′s Movie Stars Joan Crawford Marlene Dietrich Vintage Erotica Risque Cigarette Cards

Trading Cards,Carreras, Film Stars, 2nd Series
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What links this card set to the multi Oscar winning film The Titanic, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. What connection do these humble cards that would have appeared in peoples’ homes across the country in 1930’s Britain have with Flash Gordon or Trazan and the Apeman. All will be revealed shortly.

I’ve done quite a few videos of vintage glamour card sets but this one is extra special because many of the beautiful ladies featured were also highly talented movie super stars, including Joan Crawford and Marlene Dietrich, both of whom started their careers during the Silent Era.

Gloria Stuart’s career was also very enduring, spanning 80 years. She appeared as 100-year-old Rose in her Academy Award nominated role in the film Titanic, 1997.

Priscilla Lawson also appeared in an iconic drama, playing the role as Princess Aura in the original Flash Gordon serial, 1936.Maureen Paula O’Sullivan, considered to be Ireland’s first movie star, starred as Jane Parker in Tarzan the Ape Man opposite co-star Johnny Weissmuller.

Claudette Colbert, a self confessed workaholic, was one of the best paid performers of the 1930s and 1940s. At the time, many of the women in this card set were considered to be the most beautiful women in the world. Clara Bow was a leading sex symbol during the Silent Era and continued to make movie appearances in the early 1930s. Betty Grable’s iconic bathing suit photo made her the number-one pin-up girl of the World War II era and her legs were famously insured for $1M with Lloyds of London.

Not all the movie stars in this set had long careers, but that doesn’t necessary make them any less iconic. Carole Lombard was an extremely gifted actress whose life was tragically cut short by the crash of TWA Flight 3 in 1942.

Carreras, Film Stars, 2nd Series, 1939 (54 cards)

Includes:Adrienne Ames,Rose Asther,Pearl Argyle,Rosemary Ashlen,Wendy Barrie,Joan Blondell,Clara Bow,Grace Bradley,Mary Carlyle,June Clyde,Claudette Colbert,Joan Crawford,Olivia De Havilland,Frances Dee,Dolores Del Rio,Florence Desmond,Dallas Dexter, Marlene Dietrich,Adrienne Dore,Frances Drake,Ann Dvorak,Deanna Durbin,Patricia Ellis,Alice Faye,Grace Ford,Betty Furness,Betty Grable,Jean Gillie,Shirley Grey,Suzanne Kaaren,Evelyn Kelly,June Knight,Dorothy Lamour,Priscilla Lawson,Margaret Lindsay, Carole Lombard,Ida Lupino,Marian Marsh,Joan Marsh,Karen Morley,Sari Maritza,Marion Martin,Anna Neagle,Cecelia Parker,Jean Parker,Lilian Harvey,Lilian Porter,Maureen O’Sullivan,Elivina Shargood,Gloria Stuart,Raquelle Torres,Toby Wing,Terry Walker, Doris Weston

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September 2, 2011 Posted by | 1930's Movie Stars, Vintage Erotica | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

1940′s 1930′s Pin-ups Betty Grable Carole Lombard Vintage Erotica Risque Eleanor Powell Paulette Goddard Adele Jergens Cigarette Cards

1940s Vintage Erotica Betty Grable Pin-ups Carole Lombard
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This set is unusual for glamour cards in that it is full colour. Normally these types of sets are black and white or printed in a sepia style. Perhaps this set marks the trend of that time towards Technicolor movies, like Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz, instead of traditional black-and-white. It features a number of icons: the world’s greatest tap dancer and pin-up girl, burlesque beauties and even some lesser known starlets and chorus girls who’d be long since forgotten if it wasn’t for this beautiful set of 1930’s cigarette cards. Directly below are some of the most notable stars in this set:

Carole Lombard

Listed as one of the greatest stars of all time by the American Film Institute and earning a whopping salary to match, Lombard’s career was cut short by a tragic crash of TWA flight 3 in 1942,

Eleanor Powell

Called “the world’s greatest tap dancer” due to her machine gun footwork, Powell danced her way to the top, starring alongside Fred Astaire. Powell was considered the only female dancer ever capable of out-dancing Astaire.

Betty Grable

After appearing in many small parts in the 1930s, Grable went on to become one of the greatest box office draws of the 1940s. Her iconic bathing suit photo made her the number one pin-up girl of the WW2 era. Her legs were famously insured for $1,000,000.

Paulette Goddard

Paulette Goddard was a major star of the Paramount Studio in the 1940s and was romantically involved with Charlie Chaplin from 1936-1942. She appeared in Chaplin’s films Modern Times and The Great Dictator. Ironically, although her relationship with Chaplin obviously gave her career a boost it ruined her chances of starring as Scarlett O’Hara in the classic film Gone With the Wind, because of questions surrounding her marital status with Chaplin.

Adele Jergens

After being named the Number One Show Girl in New York City and “Miss World’s Fairest” at the 1939 New York World’s Fair, she eventually landed a movie contract. Her chorus girl past meant that she tended to be type cast as burlesque dancers and blonde floozies. She even played Marilyn Monroe’s mother in Ladies of the Chorus (1948) despite the fact that she was only nine years older than Monroe.

Godfrey Phillips, Beauties of Today, 2nd Series, 1940 (36 cards)

Includes:Dorothy Dawes, Tania Weller, Constance Bergen, Frances Drake, Carole Lombard, Susi Lanner, Patricia Ellis, Betty Grable, Augusta Thoms, Betty Furness, Eleanor Powell, Mary Kidd, Lita Chevret, Mary Maquire, Margaret Gredon, Movita Gastenada, Dorothy Lamour, Mlle L’ardy, Paulette Goddard, Mlle De Sainte Marie, Evelyn Kelly, Hazel Lombard, Azalie Cecil, Adele Jergens, Jean Morgan, Audrene Brier, Sonja Levkova, Polly Walters, Adrienne Ames, Suzanne Kaaren, Nini Peters, Paulette Maszaros, Eleanor Whitney, Mary Carlisle, Janice Jarratt, Edith Zeisler

If you would like to find out more about the 1940′s vintage erotica / glamour cards featured in this blog please click here.
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March 6, 2011 Posted by | 1930's Movie Stars, Vintage Erotica | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

1970′s Star Wars & Pin-Up Girls Vintage Erotica on Dandy Gum Trading Cards

1970s pin-up girls vintage erotica trading cards
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These saucy cards appeared in gum wrappers in the same year that Star Wars first graced our cinema screens, 1977. I bet Dandy gum was nicknamed “Randy Gum” after they issued this set of cards. This set features 1970’s pin-up girls in scanty bikinis with beautiful sea swept backgrounds. The playing card insets mean that you can easily use this set for card games. Although I wouldn’t recommend this, since I believe this set is quite rare. A full set of these does not appear in any of the major British card catalogues and I’ve never come across them myself.

Dandy Gum, Pin-up Girls, 1977 (playing card inset) (52 cards)

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February 6, 2011 Posted by | Vintage Erotica | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

1900′s Beauties Edwardian Era Glamour Fashion, Hats and Hairstyles on Cigarette Cards

Edwardian Era Glamour and Vintage Erotica, Fashion, Hairstyle

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Who said card collecting can’t be sexy hey?! Beautiful women appeared on some of the first ever cigarette cards. They were extremely popular with customers, most of whom were men during late 19th century. Those pioneering cards would have been quite shocking for their time. I bet the sanctimonious church-going puritans would have disapproved of the immoral illustrations on these cards . Of course, they are very tame by present day standards but this just shows how times have changed..

Here’s a set of Beauties (Leaf backs with playing card inset fronts), issued by the British American Tobacco Company in 1908. Wow! That’s over a century ago. These Edwardian era cards certainly are beautiful. They have immortalised a vast array of attractive actresses, dancers and music hall artists dressed in colourful and mesmerizing vintage clothing. Unfortunately these bygone personalities are not named, which was quite often the case on these early cards. Who needs Dr Who’s Tardis when we can gaze through these card windows to a world that is almost unrecognizable today. Society’s innocence and simplicity, mirrored on these cards, would vanish in the apocalyptic thunder of WW1 artillery, gas and machine gun fire. The 20th century juggernaut would promise a supposedly utopian modern world.

Is it any wonder that fashion designers and pop stars of today – Katy Perry, Amy Winehouse and Paloma faith to name a few – are turning back the hands of time to recreate the styles of this magical period. Why mimic the diluted interpretations of today’s trend setters when you can draw your own inspiration straight from that breathtaking period with these iconic cards.

These cards have stood the test of time, lasting over a hundred years. How much of today’s throw-away, consumerist society will last as long. Today’s consumables are designed to deteriorate as soon as we buy them to force us into buying infinitely more from a finite planet. We will soon find out how sustainable this way of life really is. I think that collecting antiques is very commendable, since we learn from history and recycle it and preserve it for future generations.

Beauties, Playing Card Inset (Leaf Back), British American Tobacco Company, 52 cards

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January 30, 2011 Posted by | Vintage Erotica | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

1920′s Glamour and Bathing Costumes Vintage Erotica Risque Photos Cigarette Cards

1920's vintage erotica glamour girls risque
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Whilst men went off to fight in WW1, women were involved in a more subtle war closer to home. Women filled many of the new job vacancies left by male war recruits. This role changing achieved more than any amount of suffragette campaigning in re-shaping the public attitude towards the female gender. Surely it wasn’t just a coincidence that women from many countries won the right to vote soon after the WW1 ended.

Women’s rebelliousness and new found freedoms dramatically influenced female fashion in the 1920s, taking on a more androgynous look. Their hair became shorter and their clothing much more daring than before WW1.

Luckily, women didn’t desert their femininity completely, as these lovely late 1920’s cigarette cards show.

Real Photos (Glamour) (Space on back), RJ Hill, 1930, 42 cards

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January 30, 2011 Posted by | Vintage Erotica | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

1950′s and 1940′s Pin Up Girls Vintage Erotica Risque Phillip Allman Cigarette Cards

1950's and 1940's Pin-Up Girls Vintage Erotica Risque
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I’ve decided to take a slight detour from reviewing early 20th century military card sets, but even these pin-up girl cards have links with warfare. Artists decorated American fighter planes with seductive pin-up girls. Perhaps these Sirens distracted the WW2 Luftwaffe as the US gunners took aim.

Pin-up girl art was popular with both servicemen and civilians before colour photography really took hold. A number of artists made names for themselves specialising in this art form: Alberto Vargas, Gil Elvgren and George Petty. With Fashion designers and pop icons, such as Katy Perry and Amy Winehouse, increasingly being influenced by vintage styles, there is currently a resurgence in interest in Pin-up girl art.

This particular pin-up girl cigarette card set was issued by Allman in 1953, more than half a century ago. It is one of the few series of cigarette cards issued after WW2. Cigarette cards became one of the many casualties of the war as British paper rationing took effect. Most of the British tobacco companies came to a gentleman’s agreement not to restart card production after the war. This is despite the fact that these humble cards had helped put them in the powerful, monopolistic positions that they now enjoyed.

Allman bucked the trend by resurrecting cigarette card issues briefly in the early 1950s and looked to the origins of cards for inspiration in choosing a subject for their first set. A high proportion of the early cigarette cards featured pretty girls, indicating that even as early as the 19th century card issuers knew the selling power of sex.

As with the early cigarette cards Allman tragically failed to mention the name of the artist whose illustrations adorn these beautiful cards. I’m a card collector and I’m not an expert on pin-up girl art but I’m sure some of you will know who the artist is. Please leave a comment below. Also, was your great grandma a glamour model? Maybe she is featured on one of these cards. Please feel free to comment if you are related to any of these beauties.

Phillip Allman, Pin-Up Girls (1940s and 1950s), 1953 (12 cards)

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January 30, 2011 Posted by | Vintage Erotica | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Coin Collecting is Sexy – 1890s-1900s Brothel Token Paris Aux Glaces, Rue Stainte Apolline, France

French Brothel Token Paris Aux Les Glaces Whore House
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Who says that coin collecting isn’t sexy?! The token pictured above is a brothel token coin. The obverse side features the name and address of the brothel, Aux Glaces, 25 Rue Stainte Apolline, Paris. The reverse reveals a nude angel and rooster, a design similar to that on French gold coins of the period, perhaps intending to mock the state.

Paris was the art centre of the world when this token was issued, late 19th to early 20th century. It’s not too difficult to imagine famous artists wandering into the Les Glaces brothel and using their token to purchase a drink at the bar before joining a Parisian beauty of their choice.

1890s-1900s Brothel Token

Aux Glaces, 25 Rue Stainte Apolline, Paris

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December 26, 2010 Posted by | Tokens, Vintage Erotica | , , , | Leave a comment

1900′s Naughty Vintage Erotica Latin American Risque Girl In Underwear on Tobacco Cards by Pesquera

1900's Naughty Vintage Erotica Latin American Risque Girl In Underwear on Tobacco Cards by Pesquera
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Tobacco cards of pretty, scantily clad women were extremely popular in the late 19th century and early 20th century amongst the male dominated smokers. This card set, issued by Pesquera, features a mischievous and restless Latin beauty in various seductive poses in and out of her bed. Although it is tame by today’s standards, this set of cards would have been considered quite shocking when it was issued.

Pesquera (Mexico), “El Despertar de la Coqueta” , 1910s (10 cards)

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May 18, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized, Vintage Erotica | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What is beauty? Risque Vintage Erotica Latin American Cigarette Cards by Pesquera, 1910s

What is beauty? Risque Vintage Erotica Latin American Cigarette Cards by Pesquera, 1910s
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What is beauty? Many scientists believe that some elements of beauty are both universal and timeless, such as symmetrical faces and bodies. However, views on the perfect female shape and dimensions about those axes of symmetry vary dramatically through the ages. Obviously buxom ladies were much more acceptable when this set of risque tobacco cards was issued by Pesquera in the 1910s. The cards depict a woman in various states of undress. Although it doesn’t really show much in the way of nudity it does reveal her underwear, which would have been quite shocking in the early 20th century.

Pesquera (Mexico), “Despues del Baile”, 1910s (15 cards)

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May 18, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized, Vintage Erotica | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Early Vintage Erotica Striptease Latin American Tobacco Cards by Pesquera, 1910s

Early Vintage Erotica Striptease Latin American Tobacco Cards by Pesquera, 1910s
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The early cigarette manufacturers seduced the mainly male dominated market with tobacco cards depicting pretty girls. This was incredibly shocking for the straight-laced 19th century, and initially there was a lot of opposition from puritanical sections of society. These cards fell short of complete nudity and are considered rather tame by today’s standards. Some Latin American and North African cards were a little bit more revealing. Pesquera (Mexico) produced a number of risqué series, including the one pictured in this blog that seems to depict a drunken lady in an erotic striptease.

Pesquera (Mexico), “Decepcion”, 1910s (14 cards)

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May 17, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized, Vintage Erotica | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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