Goodwin Canvas Backs (N168) Set and Checklist

‘It’s In The Details’

Title Goodwin Canvas Backs (N168
Year c1880s
Size 1 3/4″ x 3 3/8″
Images Black Ink
Type 19th Century Tobacco
Number in Set
7 (?)

Goodwin Canvas Backs (N168) Set Overview

This was one of many horse racing sets issued in the 19th century. This one comes courtesy of Goodwin for their Canvas Backs Cigarettes product.

The cards have a distinctive look compared to other horse racing issues in the 1800s. These cards feature sketches of horses printed in black ink with no jockey or rider present on most. The name of the horse is the only print on the front and the cards have a grayish or beige back inside of white borders with curved corners at the top.

The series is generally referred to as an 1886-90 issue with a certain date currently unknown.

The cards are quite rare and difficult to find in even prestigious auction houses. The cards are so rare, in fact, that a checklist for this set is not known to exist. Unlike other 19th century tobacco card releases, a checklist is not presented on the back of these cards. Backs instead feature a coupon, which could help explain the rarity of the set.

The back mentions that the card entitled its owner to buy a Briar Wood or Meershaum (sp.) pipe for five cents or twenty-five cents, respectively. Those prices, as the card advertised, were less than the actual cost to produce them. If these cards were indeed exchanged for the pipes and not returned to the consumer, that could explain why they are so difficult to find in today’s market.

Goodwin Canvas Backs (N168) Set Checklist

A checklist for this set has never been fully confirmed. The known cards are shown here. Given the rarity, it is quite possible that additional cards could exist.

  1. Foxhall
  2. George Kinney
  3. Girofle
  4. Iroquois
  5. Monitor
  6. Parole
  7. The Rarus

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