1881 George Hayes Duotone Trade Cards Set and Checklist

‘It’s In The Details’

Title George Hayes Duotone Trade Cards
Year 1881
Size 3″ x 4 1/2″
Images Two-Color
Type Trade
Number in Set
7 (?)

1881 George Hayes Duotone Trade Cards Overview

This unique trade card set was copyrighted to 1881. All of the cards in the set bear the name George Hayes, crediting him as the apparent lithographer.

The trade cards have a thin white border and are distinguished by their use of only two colors. Some cards have a pink and green color scheme. Others, however, have a gold and turquoise color scheme.

The cards, like many other trade issues, are meant to be humorous in nature. The tennis card, for example, shows a player being hit in the face with a ball. Each card has a small caption accompanying it.

Also as other trade cards, these are printed on thinner card stock. Advertisement placements also vary with some having ads printed along the top, others on the back, and some stock cards having none at all.

Two Color Schemes

1881 George Hayes Tennis Trade Card 2

1881 George Hayes Tennis Trade Card

The trade cards have a thin white border and are distinguished by their use of only two colors. Two different color schemes have been observed.

Some cards have a pink and green color scheme. Others, however, have a gold and turquoise/blueish color scheme. I have seen both types of color schemes for most cards in the set, thus making it likely that both were used for all cards printed.

Shown here are both types for the tennis card. As can be observed, these are the exact same picture with the same titles and placement of the copyright/George Hayes name.

The pink and green cards seem to be less rare. Despite that, I have not observed any real difference in pricing.

Other Hayes Cards

1881 George Hayes Boxing Trade CardFinally, note that Hayes other produced additional trade cards that look similar to these with the same ink colors. They have a similar style and are sometimes thought to be part of this release.

However, those cards are non-sports subjects and, more importantly, do not include titles on them. For that reason, I do not consider them to be part of this set, despite their similarity in appearance.

Additionally, yet another set of “Dude” cards with the same format/layout was created as well. Those cards do have titles but are clearly their own set.

One of the cards in the set, called ‘The Dude Mashed’ could be construed loosely as a boxing card. However, since the ‘competitors’ (a man and a horse-like man’) are not wearing gloves, it is a challenge to classify the card as such.

That card is shown here.

An Eighth Card?

It should be noted that an eighth possible card for this set exists. A card for archery, titled, ‘An Arrow Escape,’ is known.

The card has the same layout/design as the other cards in this set. The lone difference is that instead of George Hayes’ name appearing, the name Chas Moritz appears.

It is possible that this card belongs in this set. However, since it does not bear the name of Hayes, I have left it off of the formal checklist.

1881 George Hayes Duotone Trade Cards Checklist

I have observed seven different cards in the set but it is possible that others exist. Aside from the tennis card, which is seen quite frequently, I have found the others to be harder to find.

  1. A Bite (Fishing)
  2. Bowled Out (Cricket)
  3. Bucked (Cycling)
  4. Caught a Crab (Boating)
  5. High Vault (Pole Vault)
  6. Kicked (Hunting)
  7. Served (Tennis)

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