1920s Davies & Herbert Newcastle Famous Boxers Set and Checklist

‘It’s In The Details’

Title Davies & Herbert Newcastle Famous Boxers
Year 1920s
Size  1 1/2″ x 2 3/4″
Images Black and White
Type Candy/Caramel
Number in Set
50 (?)

1920s Davies & Herbert Newcastle Famous Boxers Set Overview

Davies Herbert Newcastle Famous Boxers BoxingThese cards are exceedingly rare and it is difficult to find even minor subjects. They were issued by Davies & Herbert, a candy company in Australia. As the backs of the cards state, they were presented by that company, though it is unclear how they were distributed or how many were printed. In addition to this set, Davies & Herbert also printed a soccer/rugby set with the same design and, quite possibly, the same exact year.

The set is called ‘Newcastle Famous Boxers’ as it featured boxers from that area. No name is on the front of the cards but it is on the back along with a brief description of the subject. The cards were almost certainly printed inexpensively and have a low-quality appearance.

Because the subjects were Australian fighters, most names will not be familiar to American collectors. And in addition to boxers, the set included some cards of those affiliated with the sport but not necessarily fighting in the ring. For example, one card features George Player, who was, as the card describes, ‘a leading trainer of the north, with several coming champions.’ Another unique aspect to the set was that, similar to what the 1889 Kimball Champions (N184) set did, they recognized some child participants. One of those was then 14-year old George Pringle.

One notable checklisting point should not confuse collectors. A card exists for a fighter named Packy McFarlan. However, he should not be confused with the more famous American fighter, Packey McFarland. Though fighting loosely in the same time period, this was not the same fighter.

The cards are not numbered and I have not been able to confirm how many might be in the set or even from what the set comes from. But a special offer on the back gives some clue to the former.

The company was willing to exchange a ‘new complete set’ of the cards mounted on art board in exchange for 50 assorted cards. That would seem to indicate that a complete set included 50 cards as that offer was similar to a few others that would exchange a full set for the same amount of any cards to help collectors more easily fill holes.

Variation

A second variation of this set is also known.

The main cards have a red and white decorative border. However, a variation of them has a solid red border. These cards seem even rarer and tougher to find. The cards feature the same pictures on the front for fighters that are duplicated (it is not known if every card is found with both variations).

Backs for the solid red bordered cards are also different. Those have a similar but different advertisement printed in blue ink as opposed to the black-ink backs on the other cards.

1920s Davies & Herbert Newcastle Famous Boxers Set Checklist

I have not yet confirmed a full checklist for this set. But below, I have identified the cards I have seen to date.

  1. Young Ahearn
  2. Frank Burns
  3. Yank Conlen
  4. Harry Denham
  5. Blue Jones
  6. Packy MacFarlane
  7. Tom MaGuire (trainer)
  8. Irish O’Grady
  9. Len Oakes
  10. Ray Orrell
  11. George Player (trainer)
  12. George Pringle
  13. Len Shannon
  14. Bill Yates
  15. TBD
  16. TBD
  17. TBD
  18. TBD
  19. TBD
  20. TBD
  21. TBD
  22. TBD
  23. TBD
  24. TBD
  25. TBD
  26. TBD
  27. TBD
  28. TBD
  29. TBD
  30. TBD
  31. TBD
  32. TBD
  33. TBD
  34. TBD
  35. TBD
  36. TBD
  37. TBD
  38. TBD
  39. TBD
  40. TBD
  41. TBD
  42. TBD
  43. TBD
  44. TBD
  45. TBD
  46. TBD
  47. TBD
  48. TBD
  49. TBD
  50. TBD

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