1936-37 Ardath / Player and Sons Tennis Set and Checklist

‘It’s In The Details’

Title Ardath / Player and Sons Tennis
Year 1936-37
Size 1 3/8″ x 2 5/8″
Images Color
Type Tobacco
Number in Set
50

1936-37 Ardath / Player and Sons Tennis Overview

Helen Jacobs 1936 Players TennisFred Perry 1936 Player and Sons TennisThe 1936 Player and Sons Tennis set is one of the more common 1930s tennis tobacco issues. Cards were issued by John Player and Sons Tobacco company, an Imperial Tobacco Company firm. These same cards were also issued a year later in 1937 and distributed by Ardath tobacco products. The Ardath cards are much harder to come by.

The cards are distinctive with bright white borders and full green background to resemble a tennis court. Against the background are black ink cartoon images that complement a full color image of a specific player. White lines on the court also accompany the images. The cartoons and the picture of the real player combined to showcase a particular tennis shot. Backs of the cards were split between providing information on the player as well as the shot that was demonstrated on the front.

The set is somewhat similar to others that provide instruction, such as the 1923 Sarony Tennis Strokes set or the 1930 Godfrey Phillips Lawn Tennis set, which offered instructional tips. But the set is better known for its individual pictures of players, such as Fred Perry, Helen Jacobs, and Betty Nuthall.

The cards have a semi-gloss on the front and back, and the backs had an adhesive, which allowed collectors to affix them into albums. That was their actual purpose as collectors were instructed to buy an album for one penny from their tobacco dealer.

Daniel Prenn and G.P. Hughes Errors

Daniel Prenn 1936 Players Tennis Correction

Daniel Prenn 1936 Players Tennis Error

Of note in the set is the inclusion of an error card related to Daniel Prenn.

The cartoon drawings on the card as well as the full-color images of the players show the steps in successfully completing a specific tennis action. To help collectors determine the movement, the order of the pictures are numbered to provide the proper sequence.

Prenn’s card features a backhand drive shot. The cartoon image shows him preparing to hit the ball and the full-color image shows the final result of his swing. The cartoon shot is numbered as ‘1’ while the follow-through shot is ‘2.’

The error card has the No. 1 but is missing the No. 2. A corrected version, however, displays the No. 2. The two cards are shown here (error on left, correction on right).

Currently, it is unknown if this is the only error like this in the set or if similar ones occurred on other cards. It is also not known if the error was also made in the 1937 Ardath set. But as that one is believed to have been issued a year after the Player’s set, there is a good chance the mistake was already fixed by then.

Additionally, another error exists in the Player and Sons set for G.P. Hughes, as well as a slight variation. Similar to the Prenn error, one of Hughes’ cards is missing the most of the number ‘1’ with only a speck of it showing. A second card does have the ‘1’ but it is over to the right side of the card near the border.

Hughes’ third card has both the ‘1’ and the ‘2’ with the ‘1’ significantly further away from the border. I would consider this to be the corrected card.

Also similar to the Prenn error, it is unknown if any of the other two found their way into the Ardath set.

1936-37 Ardath / Player and Sons Tennis Checklist

  1. Joan Hartigan
  2. Fred Perry
  3. E. Fearnley–Whittingstall
  4. Wilmer Allison
  5. Nellie Adamson
  6. Mary Heeley
  7. M.R. King
  8. H. G. N. Lee
  9. Seniorita Lizana
  10. C.E. Malfroy
  11. Joan O’Meara
  12. M.C. Scriven
  13. Kathleen Stammers
  14. H.W. Austin
  15. Miss Braddock
  16. Jack Crawford
  17. R. Hardwick
  18. N.M. Lyle
  19. Miss Mathieu
  20. Miss Meulemeester
  21. Mrs. F.S. Moody
  22. Miss Outratova
  23. Mrs. J.B. Pittman
  24. Daniel Prenn (error and correction)
  25. Dorothy Round
  26. Francis Shields
  27. Mrs. Sperling
  28. G. Von Cramm
  29. G. De Stefani
  30. C.E. Hare
  31. G.P. Hughes (two errors and a correction)
  32. Freda James
  33. A.M. Yorke
  34. Helen Jacobs
  35. V.G. Kirby
  36. J. Van Ryn
  37. J. Yamagishi
  38. Adrian Quist
  39. G. Lyttleton Rogers
  40. Jean Borotra
  41. H.C. Hopman
  42. D. Budge
  43. Mrs. Fabyan
  44. F. H. D. Wilde
  45. S.B. Wood
  46. R. Menzel
  47. Betty Nuthall
  48. C. R. D. Tuckey
  49. G. Mako
  50. V. McGrath

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