Collection: John Player Cigarette Cards

John Player & Sons, a British tobacco manufacturer founded in 1820, played a significant role in the history of cigarette cards. Here's an overview of their evolution:


  • John Player & Sons started as a small tobacco shop in Nottingham, England, established by John Player.
  • The company expanded rapidly, becoming one of the largest tobacco manufacturers in the United Kingdom.

Introduction of Cigarette Cards:

  • In the late 19th century, John Player & Sons began including illustrated cards in their cigarette packets as a marketing strategy.
  • These cards were initially used to stiffen the cigarette packaging but soon became collectible items in their own right.

Distinctive Themes and Series:

  • John Player & Sons produced a wide variety of cigarette card series, covering an extensive range of subjects.
  • Some of the most famous series include "Actresses," "Footballers," "Cricketers," "Aviation," "Ships," "Military Uniforms," "Wild Animals," and "Famous Authors."

Artistic Design and Quality:

  • Player's cigarette cards were known for their high-quality artwork and informative content.
  • The cards often featured colorful illustrations on the front and detailed descriptions or interesting facts on the reverse side.

Cultural Impact and Popularity:

  • Player's cigarette cards became immensely popular among smokers and collectors alike during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
  • They contributed to the burgeoning hobby of cigarette card collecting, which became a widespread pastime among people of all ages.