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.


  1. Love those cards! Check this out when you get a chance....

    1. Well I'll be darn. I usually google what I consider for posting but I didn't figure any of the card blogs I read would have these featured.

      And I sure agree, they are terrific little cards. The Garbatys sure put some work into the fine details of these. Can't decide which are more beautiful, the cards or the lovely ladies.

  2. I'm sorry you've kept these under wraps for so long. I've got some off-topic items to post, too. But I'm waiting for the right time.

    1. I wish I hadn't waited either. I was saving them for posting on my mother's birthday weeks ago but it slipped past me.

      Loretta Young was her favorite actress. Young had a daytime drama show on TV in the 50s that I watched with her sometimes.

      I'll put some more of these up from time to time.

  3. Those are beautiful, both the cards and the subjects. Many of us could be a bit more adventurous in our blogging subjects; more often than not, someone else will be interested in it.

    I was going to offer my “expertise” as a former high school German student with grades consistently in the C+/B- range, but as the vintage card website says, it seems to me like most of the text is about how to buy the album for the cards.

    Just to throw out a few words that I remembered, or which I quickly looked up…
    Filmsterne = Film Stars, or probably more accurately, stars of film.
    Verlag = Publisher
    Sammelfreunden = Collecting friends
    Luxus = Luxury
    Bild = Picture, photo, image

    I was going to take slight exception to the translation of “Film-lieblinge” as “Film Favorites” until I saw that Clark Gable was included in the set. “Liebling” is often used as a term of affection (“Lieb” is the German word for “Love”) and given all the lovely ladies in the set I was going to hazard a guess that a better translation would’ve be “Sweethearts/Lovelies/Darlings of Film”. But Clark Gable’s presence throws it back to “Favorites”.

    Thanks for the post!

    1. That's great info, Joe. I'm finding more and more on these as I dig deeper. I've found checklists and info on the different series.

      I guess I'll just have to post some others!

  4. If nobody ever posted anything different, how would we ever learn anything?

    Very interesting set! Nice to see it!