Saturday, August 25, 2012

I wasn't planning to post these

But after reading Night Owl's latest entry I feel empowered. It IS my collection and if I want to show off some off-the-beaten-path cards then dammit that's just what I'll do. Normally I'd keep these mid-30s era German issued cards under wraps. They show European and American actresses and singers.

But here they are. I found them at an antiques mall while my wife was looking for a headboard. I bought a bundled lot from a guy for about $10. There were 35 of them and I've seen them go for a couple of bucks apiece on eBay.

We enjoy old movies and recognized about half of the subjects shown on these cards. Frankly, the cards themselves are pretty darn attractive. Colorful, embossed, and they contain really nice artwork. Whoever did the colorizing of the original pictures has a nice eye.

A little research turned up some amazing background on these cards and the issuing company, the Garbaty Cigarette Company. This vintage card website tells an interesting tale of the company's founder and his family being forced to flee Nazi Germany in 1938, a few short years after these were published.

From that page:
In the center of Nazi Germany's pre-war years, the Garbaty Cigarette  Company released three sets of incredibly striking cigarette cards: Moderne Schönheitsgalerie (Gallery of Modern Beauty) in 1934; Galerie Schöner-Frauen Des Films (Gallery of Beautiful Women in Film) in 1936; and Film-Lieblinge (Film Favorites) in 1937. Each card has a full color, embossed surface, while the back of each card informs the collector of how to purchase an album (cost: one Reichmark) to house the cards. A cigarette brand logo and other information about the cost of the cigarette boxes in which the cards were inserted also appear on the backs. Interestingly, the word “Garbaty” is nowhere to be seen. While most cards measure 2 1/16 X 2 7/16, a select forty in the 200-card Film-Lieblinge set are much larger, measuring 2 7/16 X 3 1/4.
A few of the nicer cards and an assortment of card-backs:

OK, if you're still reading I can give you a sports tie-in with these. See the top card, the beautiful Leah Ray? She was married for more than 50 years to Sonny Werblin, owner of the New York Jets.

Now you can make fun of me for having these in my collection. But I have to tell you that I'm very secure in my manhood. I've been known to wear a pink golf polo without shame.