1910 Godfrey Phillips Sporting Series Set and Checklist

‘It’s In The Details’

Title Godfrey Phillips Sporting Series
Year 1910
Size 1 7/16″ x 2 7/16″
Images Color
Type Tobacco
Number in Set

1910 Godfrey Phillips Sporting Series Set Overview

1923 Godfrey Phillips Sports Golf.jpg1923 Godfrey Phillips Sports Boxing.jpgThis small tobacco set features a variety of sports. Simply called ‘Sporting Series’ on the back, the issue includes a total of 25 cards.

None of the four major American sports are pictured but most will be familiar to collectors. Boxing, golf, tennis, wrestling, and soccer cards highlight the set. Each sport is named on the back but a caption is presented on the front.

Fronts of the cards feature color pictures of particular sports with white borders. Subjects pictured are considered generic ones as the names of specific athletes are not provided. Like other UK tobacco issues from around the same time period, backs include an ornate black and white printing. At just under 1 1/2″ x 2 1/2″, these are slightly smaller than many other tobacco issues.

Perhaps the easiest thing to spot with this set is that it was designed to be humorous in nature. Athletes are mostly pictured in odd circumstances and it is easy to see that the set was designed to make collectors laugh.

Somewhat surprisingly, this set is not an easy one to find. Cards pop up individually but you rarely see complete sets offered for sale. But while sets are rare, finding one can be easier than building a set with individual cards. The cards are not even terribly easy to find on large marketplace hubs such as eBay.

Parallel Set from 1923

The 1910 Sporting Series is not nearly as well known as a parallel set also issued by Godfrey Phillips a bit later — the 1923 Sports set.

Both types include the same front images. However, the pictures are ‘flipped’ with subjects facing in the other direction.

The backs are the easiest way to tell these cards apart. The ‘Sports’ variation (left) has the Sports title at the top along with the sport name, card number, and a description of it in black ink.

The tougher Sporting Series cards (right) are printed on slightly thinner card stock that is more of an off white or beige color. These cards do include a mention of the sport’s name and card number but are more of an advertisement for Godfrey Phillips without a description. These backs are also printed in blue ink instead of black. Finally, the card numbers also do not correspond with those in the later Sports set.

Shown here are the two backs distinguishing each from the other. The Sporting Series cards are more valuable.

1910 Godfrey Phillips Sporting Series Set Checklist

While I have not yet fully assembled this checklist, the full set checklist for the 1923 Godfrey Phillips Sports set is here (the card subjects are the same but the numbering is different).

  1. TBD
  2. Climbing
  3. TBD
  4. Motoring
  5. TBD
  6. Wrestling
  7. TBD
  8. Bathing
  9. Tennis
  10. Rabbit Shooting
  11. TBD
  12. TBD
  13. Tug of War
  14. TBD
  15. Cycling
  16. TBD
  17. TBD
  18. TBD
  19. TBD
  20. TBD
  21. Skating
  22. TBD
  23. Pushball
  24. Hunting
  25. Football (Association)

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