1878 Huntley and Palmers Biscuits Sports Trade Card Set

‘It’s In The Details’

Title Huntley and Palmers Biscuits Sports Trade Card
Year 1878
Size 3″ x 4 3/8″
Images Color
Type Bakery/Trade
Number in Set
23 (?)

1878 Huntley and Palmers Biscuits Sports Trade Cards Overview

Huntley and Palmers was a biscuit manufacturer in England (Reading and London). Over the years, they used numerous sports and non-sports trade cards.

The 1878 Huntley and Palmers Biscuits cards featured a variety of sports. Baseball, golf, and tennis are among the most popular cards among American collectors.

Two Types

1878 Huntley and Palmers Tennis1878 Huntley and Palmers GolfThere are two types of Huntley and Palmers cards in this series here. They are sometimes considered to be the same set and others, two separate issues.

The cards feature the Huntley and Palmers name at the top as well as a mention of their addresses in London and Reading.

The first type (which includes the baseball set) has a full bleed picture extending all the way to a gold border. The second type includes a picture of a particular sport or pastime with a partially white background and a semi-circle.

The backs are even more interesting in the minds of some collectors. There, you see a full-size advertisement in French. The bottom of the back also seemingly gives the date of the card, mentioning an event in Paris in 1878.


Huntley Palmers.jpg

The baseball trade cards feature a generic baseball scene and is one of the more desired cards in the set. Using a vertical picture, the card displays a batter, pitcher, catcher, and third baseman, as well as a batter on deck. A grandstand and outfield fence are shown in the background.

This card is the most desired one in the issue. However, the golf card is also one of the earliest in that sport and is highly sought after as well.

Printed in 1878, the card predates most of the American trade card issues depicting the sport. It is one of the earlier known baseball cards to be printed.

Internationally, it is surely among the earliest as most baseball cards did not start making their way around the globe until after 1900.


PSA currently states that 19 cards are in this set. However, I know of at least 23. Part of the problem may be that some of the sports repeat in both types. Although the pictures are different, PSA does not currently list a sport more than once.

Because there are 12 known Type 1 cards, I believe there are probably 12 of the others.

As a result, my guess is that a complete checklist should include 24 cards. However, that may an error.

1878 Huntley and Palmers Biscuits Sports Trade Card Checklist

Type 1 (Full Picture Background)

  1. Baseball
  2. Canoeing
  3. Cricket
  4. Cycling
  5. Golf
  6. Hare Coursing
  7. Hurdling (Fence)
  8. Jumping Rope
  9. Lacrosse
  10. Polo
  11. Running
  12. Tennis
  13. Walking

Type 2 (Partially White Background with Circle)

  1. Bird Hunting
  2. Canoeing
  3. Fishing
  4. Hunting
  5. Ice Skating
  6. Polo
  7. Hurdling (Fence)
  8. Rowing
  9. Tennis
  10. Yachting

Follow Pre-War Cards on Twitter and also be sure to like our page on Facebook.

%d bloggers like this: