1927 James Illingworth Comicartoons of Sport Set and Checklist

‘It’s In The Details’

Title Comicartoons of Sport
Year 1927
Size 1 3/8″ x 2 1/2″
Images Black Ink
Type Tobacco
Number in Set

1927 James Illingworth Comicartoons of Sport Overview

The 1927 James Illingworth Comicartoons of Sport set is one of many multi-sport international issues. While not scarce, this one is certainly on the rarer side.

The set features many of the ‘usual suspects’ as is found in other issues. Baseball is not found so it has not found its way on the radar of many collectors. However, a slew of other popular sports are here, including boxing, golf, tennis, soccer, and more.

Another reason this set goes under the radar of other more popular international tobacco sets is because Illingworth produced very few cards. The company did release ten pre-war sets, including one on aviation in 1938. However, they distributed many fewer sets than larger brands Player’s and Wills did.

As with many of these types of sets, there are some that are classified today more as an activity than a sport. That would include the likes of ‘mountaineering’ or ‘angling’ (fishing). Still, the set is dominated by sports and one that will command the interest of multi-sport collectors that don’t mind generic subjects (specific athletes are not named).

Cards are somewhat similar to the 1938 Bocnal Luminous Silhouettes cards that glow in the dark. But while these have silhouetted depictions of sports, the cards fall short of illumination.

Fronts of the cards picture those silhouetted images against a solid beige background. The top has the name of the sport inside of a yellow box with the bottom featuring a somewhat comical phrase related to the sport. Backs of the cards mention a Series of 25 as well as the name of the set and the name of James Illingworth, Ltd., a Kendal, England tobacco brand.

Hockey and Soccer

A card for hockey is interesting. While the sport featured is field hockey, the back mentions variations of the sport, including one that is played on ice, making it somewhat desirable to ice hockey card collectors.

Also intriguing is a card for soccer. Almost all pre-war cards depicting the sport choose the more widely used name of football or association football for the cards that Americans would consider soccer cards. However, the card for that sport is actually called soccer, leading to questions about where these cards may have been distributed.

Also interesting about the soccer card is that the back does not give a general writeup of that sport as all others in the set do. Instead, the card lists F.A. Cup Winners through 1925. Further, that calls into question the dating of this set. It is generally considered to be a 1927 set but the 1924-25 date of the last F.A. Cup winner on the soccer card raises questions if these cards were actually distributed a year earlier.

1927 James Illingworth Comicartoons of Sport Set Checklist

  1. Rugby Football
  2. Soccer
  3. Cricket
  4. Tennis
  5. Tossing the Caber
  6. Fox Hunting
  7. Shooting
  8. Hockey (Field)
  9. Bowls
  10. Ski-Running
  11. LaCrosse
  12. Skating
  13. Boating
  14. Hurdle Racing
  15. Swimming
  16. Horse Racing
  17. Golf
  18. Boxing
  19. Motoring
  20. Polo
  21. Mountaineering
  22. Whippet Racing
  23. Archery
  24. Curling
  25. Angling

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