1903 I. Lewis Golden Eagle Cigars Women and Men in Costumes Set and Checklist (T65)

‘It’s In The Details’

Title I. Lewis Golden Eagle Cigars Women and Men in Costumes (T65)
Year 1903
Size 2 3/16″ x 3 7/8″
Images Color
Type 19th Century Tobacco
Number in Set
53 (?)

1903 I. Lewis Golden Eagle Cigars Women and Men in Costumes Set Overview (T65)

T65 Golden Eagle CostumesThis issue features women and men in various uniforms and outfits. It was distributed by the I. Lewis & Company group, a Newark, New Jersey operation, for its Golden Eagle cigar products.

Cards feature colorful lithographs of subjects on the front with a title at the bottom. Most are non-sports cards but there are two cards featuring golfers (both a woman and a man) as well as two featuring tennis players (again, a male and female).

While the sports cards are generally the most desirable, the series is so rare that even the non-sports cards command interest. The cards are rarely seen and, many times, even when they are, they are mistaken for random trade cards. Even common non-sports cards from the set start around $20-$30.

While these cards are often described as having different dates, they are clearly a 1903 issue, as indicated in the small copyright with Hill’s name on the front.

The cards have the appearance of a trade card. However, they are clearly a tobacco card as they were classified as a T-Card by Jefferson Burdick in his American Card Catalog and bear a back advertisement for the Golden Eagle Cigars brand (produced by I. Lewis & Co. Manufacturers).

An exact number of cards in the set is not entirely known but the cards are numbered on the back.

Hobo Series Postcard Parallel

For a while, I wondered if this series was tied to postcards in any way. That is because the images were drawn and copyrighted by R. Hill, a famous artist of many postcards.

Turns out, it was. Around the same time, a set of postcards titled, “Hobo Series,” was released, featuring several of the same images found in this set.

The series consists of at least six cards with two known sports cards – a tennis player and a golfer, shown here.

Instead of having a title like the trade cards, these cards only have the same R. Hill 1903 copyright along with text, indicating they are part of the Hobo Series postcards.

Backs are undivided and mention in small print that they were published by the Edw., Stern, & Co., Inc. based out of Philadelphia. The postcards were issued in or around 1903 (postmarked examples bear dates to that time period).

1903 I. Lewis Golden Eagle Cigars Women and Men in Costumes Set Checklist (T65)

A known checklist has not yet been developed.

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