1911 Helmar Stamps Set (T332) and Checklist
‘It’s In The Details’
|Title||T332 Helmar Stamps
|Size||1 1/8″ x 1 3/8″
|Images||Black and White
|Number in Set
1911 Helmar Stamps (T332) Overview
The 1911 T332 Helmar Stamps set included miniature paper inserts that were included within packages of Helmar Cigarettes. The unique items included small black and white pictures of players against colorful decorative designs.
The player’s name and team was at the bottom in a name plate. As with other stamps issues, the backs are entirely blank. In addition to the many players represented in the set, the frames are noteworthy because there were so many of them. As many as 50 different frames used around the players’ images in the set.
The stamps are small, colorful, and extremely fragile. While they are called stamps, they were not stamps used for postage. Instead, they were decorative issues.
The stamps are small and nearly square. Many different frame types and name plate sizes were used. Only the player’s last name was printed. The different frame types typically highlight equipment, including baseballs, bats, gloves, and catcher apparel. There seem to be no real rhyme or reason to the cartoon designs or the colors used on individual stamps.
The small size of the stamps (as well as their paper thin makeup) has steered some collectors away from them. But the checklist includes a wealth of Hall of Famers and big names, including Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Cy Young, Tris Speaker, and more, which more than makes up for the oddball nature of these ‘cards.’ They are paper thin, however, meaning they are often found wrinkled, torn, or with even small chunks missing from them.
Unlike some other stamps, which were merely paper cut outs, these did have an adhesive backing and could be stuck to surfaces. Helmar even produced small envelopes for them that were designed to carry them with the statement, “They will not stick,” printed on the envelope. While I have seen these envelopes, it is unclear if they were distributed separate from the cigarette packages or if they were placed inside of them with the cigarettes and a stamp. Like many tobacco cards, the envelopes included a factory number from where they were distributed.
Depending on your interpretation of a rookie card, the set is home to a few that could be considered rookies, including Hall of Famer Max Carey. Despite being a lower-tier Hall of Famer in terms of collectability, Carey’s stamp is sought after a little more because it’s his first known release.
One interesting thing is that the set wasn’t only limited to baseball players. At least a few actresses were included as well.
1911 Helmar Stamps (T332) Checklist
- Clarke (Fred)
- Clarke (Tom)
- Collins (Eddie)
- Collins (Shano)
- McIntyre (Harry)
- McIntyre (Matty)
- Sweeney (Bill)
- Sweeney (Jeff)
- Wilson (Art)
- Wilson (Owen)
- Young (Cy)
- Young (Irv)