1920s Bonzo Sets and Checklist

‘It’s In The Details’

Title Bonzo
Year 1920s
Size 1 1/2″ x 2 5/8″
Images Color
Type Tobacco and Miscellaneous
Number in Set
25

1920s Bonzo Set Overview

This strange set of 25 cards featured a fictional cartoon dog named Bonzo. Bonzo was the creation of George Studdy, a comic strip artist from the UK. The set is known to sports collectors for cards depicting golf, boxing, and tennis.

The set features Bonzo in a variety of humorous situations. The majority of the cards are non-sports depictions. However, a few cards in the set do focus on sports. One, titled, “The Knock-Out,” features Bonzo defeated in a boxing scene, apparently losing a female dog to another dog. Another card focuses on tennis and is titled, “The Ball Boy.” This card shows Bonzo

Two more focus on the sport of golf. One is titled “Rabbits, I Believe,” depicts Bonzo and another dog digging into a hole on a golf course. The sports cards are typically considered as the key issues as they have some appeal to boxing and golf collectors, in particular. The second is titled, “William Tell,” depicting a golfer with a club hitting a ball from Bonzo’s head.

Fronts of the cards picture full color images with a card number and title below. Like some other tobacco card sets, these cards were issued by several different brands. In all, there are six different brands and each brand has its own advertising on the back.

All of the brands are tobacco cards with the exception of Spratt’s, which was a dog food product. Of note, the set is titled differently across the various brands and were issued in different time periods throughout the 1920s. Despite the different names, the cards/pictures in the sets are the same across all six. The different sets are listed below:

  • 1923 British American Tobacco (advertising back and blank back variations)
  • Jahamdesrivaux and Albert Three Roses
  • 1923 Player’s Cigarettes Bonzo Dogs
  • 1928 Singleton and Cole Bonzo Series
  • 1924 Spratt’s Dog Food
  • 1925 United Tobacco C to C Cigarettes Studdy Dogs

All of the cards are somewhat rare but the Singleton and Cole cards are typically the easiest ones to find. Commons usually start at a few dollars in decent condition with the sports cards selling for more. Cards from Jahamdesrivaux and Albert, in particular, can sell for significantly more. Those cards are extremely rare.

Finally, these images were reproduced for other products, including postcards and prints.

1920s Bonzo Set Checklist

  1. His Broadcast Master’s Voice
  2. William Tell (Golf)
  3. The Glider
  4. A Miscarriage of Justice
  5. His Futurist Portrait
  6. Fair Exchange
  7. Me Mistake
  8. The Ball Boy (Tennis)
  9. Nobody Loves Me
  10. The Pot Hunter
  11. The Knock-Out (Boxing)
  12. The Way of an Eagle
  13. Rabbits, I Believe! (Golf)
  14. Alas! My Poor Brother.
  15. The Hard Court
  16. A Pull to Leg
  17. Lost Ball
  18. The Botulist
  19. The Treasure
  20. Ignominy
  21. A Capital Levy
  22. Not if I Know It
  23. A Guilty Conscience
  24. The Beggar’s Opera
  25. The End of a Perfect Day

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