Thursday, January 23, 2020

1938 Churchman Boxing set

I'm always surprised at how affordable vintage tobacco sets are (especially English sets). Twenty bucks, give or take, can get you 50 cards that include some of the best boxers in history.  And the sets are easy to find. I've had my eye on this for a while and found one in nice condition at around that price.

Up top, we have the great Jack Johnson. A product of Galveston, Texas, just down the road. Here's the back.
Max Baer and one of the greatest fighters that nobody talks about, Henry Armstrong. He was my grandfather's favorite.

Max Schmeling and Jack Dempsey

Four more great ones...James J. Braddock, made famous to modern audiences through Cinderella Man, one of my favorite boxing flicks. Primo Carnera was well known as a wrestler after his boxing career. I grew up going to school with one of his nephews. And below them, Gene Tunney and Joe Louis, considered by many the greatest of all time.

The back of Braddock's card....

The full checklist. These were numbered using last names in alphabetical order. The last 11 cards are of managers and refs.
1     Lou Ambers
2     Henry Armstrong
3     Max Baer
4     Jack "Kid" Berg
5     Eric Boon
6     James J. Braddock
7     Primo Carnera
8     Georges Carpentier
9     Dave Crowley
10     Arthur Danahar
11     Al Delaney
12     Jack Dempsey
13     Jack Doyle
14     Jim Driscoll
15     Tommy Farr
16     Ben Foord
17     Larry Gains
18     Len Harvey
19     Frank Hough
20     Jack Johnson
21     Peter Kane
22     Jack Kilrain
23     Johnny King
24     John Henry Lewis
25     Ted "Kid" Lewis
26     Joe Louis
27     Benny Lynch
28     Jock McAvoy
29     Tommy Milligan
30     Harry Mizler
31     Walter Neusel
32     Jack Petersen
33     Eddie Phillips
34     Max Schmeling
35     Gene Tunney
36     Paolino Uzcudun
37     Jimmy Walsh
38     Billy Wells
39     Jimmy Wilde
40     Moss Deyong
41     C.H. Douglas
42     Jack Hart
43     Jack Smith
44     Victor Berliner
45     Ted Broadribb
46     Sam Russell
47     Johnny Sharpe
48     Arthur J. Elvin
49     Sydney Hulls
50     John E. Harding


  1. They're cheap because a lot of them were made, and every year there's less and less people left who are still interested in them. This is why I always think it funny when I come across those smug people on Twitter who say that they only collect "pre-war" cards. They go on and on about today's cards being over produced, and how they won't hold their values, then they show their latest pick-up, which is a card from a 100 year-old set that can be bought in it's entirety for $10 or less from multiple British sellers on eBay -- apparently that's what "holding it's value" means. They also seem to be completely oblivious to the fact that in another fifty years or so, there's not gonna be anybody left who's interested in those cards, today's cards, or just about anything else that collector's currently hold dear.

  2. I find the pre-war English tobacco sets really interesting and have a pretty big collection, including this et.

    The artwork and subject matter on them are cool - trains, ships, airplanes, etc - and being able to get whole sets for less than what you'd pay for a beat up baseball card of a common player from the same era makes them way more enticing to me.

  3. I've always been fascinated by the prices of tobacco sets from England. I always figured someone over there was reprinting them... but I could see where supply just exceeds demand. Whatever the reasoning is... twenty bucks for this set is mind-blowing. I'd much rather have this set than a blaster box.