Dog Collectibles: Trade Cards

Dog trade cards are a fun collectible and a great choice for a new collector. They are inexpensive, numerous, readily available, and take up little space.

Trade cards commonly advertised tobacco products, but also candy, coffee and tea, soap, toothpaste, medicines, and even thread (as in the J&P Coats Thread trading card below).


Some people collect complete sets such as these:

  • Companies, like John Player & Sons, and Gallaher, Ltd. issued numbered sets of cards, each featuring a breed illustration and profile.
  • The Berlin Morning Post (der Berliner Morgenpost) issued a collectible print each week in 1960 of various breeds.

Other collections could reflect:

  • a breed
  • a time period
  • a country
  • the product advertised
  • cards that are printed on unusual media, such as silk, playing cards, cigar bands, and even film transparencies.

You can’t go wrong if you remember the old rule, collect what you love.

Most cards are vintage, but some are more recent. My trade cards range from the 1890s to the 1990s. Ask whether the card you’re interested in is an original, or a reprint. Some popular cards, such as the Player and Gallaher sets were reprinted; reprints should be less expensive.

The Corgi and Newfoundland cards above were both premiums with tobacco products. The Corgi card was printed in the UK in 1979. The card back gives breed details, while the front features a charming drawing of a Corgi.

The 94-year old Newfoundland card is unusual; it was printed on silk. This card shows a prominant Newfoundland of that era on the front, and pedigree, show, and ownership details on the back.


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