1912 Cohen Weenen Set and Checklist

‘It’s In The Details’

Title Cohen Weenen
Year 1912
Size 1 1/2″ x 2 5/8″
Images Black and White
Type Tobacco
Number in Set

1912 Cohen Weenen Set Overview

Carpentier Portrait - CopyCarpentier Action - CopyThese cards were issued by Cohen, Weenen & Company for their cigarette packages. The firm was based in London and, as a result, the cards are not seen too often here in the U.S. compared to other sets.

While the set is sometimes called the ‘Famous Boxers’ set, that name does not actually appear anywhere on the cards.

The Cohen Weenen name isn’t too well-known among American collectors that are not familiar with boxing cards or this set. However, they produced several other tobacco card issues featuring other athletes, including football players (soccer/rugby), cricketers, and jockeys, as well as non-sports subjects. This set is among their more famous issues.

The set included black and white pictures of boxers on the front. If for nothing else, they are distinguished by their thick black borders. Despite the small checklist of only 25 cards, the set includes a few boxers with more than one card, such as Hall of Famers Jack Johnson and George Carpentier, who each have two.

The cards of Carpentier do not match the values of Johnson, but the Carpentier cards are notable as they are considered his rookies. Both are pictured here – a portrait and an action pose.

These same cards were used for at least one other tobacco product as Hudden and Company used them, distributing this issue with their name later in 1927.

Those were printed with a different style of backs, though the pictures fronts were the same. Hudden cards also added the boxer’s name and a card number to the front.

A final point should be made to the paper stock of the cards. These cards are very thin and fragile. As a result, they are easily damaged.

Back Variations

1912 Cohen Weenen BacksIn addition to those borders, the set is also known for its back variations. Four different types of backs are known:

  • Black ink backs
  • Gray ink backs
  • Green ink backs
  • Backs without the Cohen Weenen name

Note that three variations is often the common description for this set (green, black, and no advertisement). However, gray also appears to be a viable option as these are distinctly lighter than the black backs. These gray backs do not appear to be simply faded out versions of black ink. Rather, up close, they look to be their own color.

I have shown all three (not including the non-advertisement variation here) as a point of comparison. The gray backs are quite scarce and you can read more about them here.

Backs without the cigarette brand could indicate they were also distributed with other packs of cigarettes, or at least intended to be. Those cards have the same biography information but simply have a blank box where the Cohen Weenen name is on other cards. That is similar to stock trade cards, which left a portion of the card blank where a specific business could add their company name to it.

1912 Cohen Weenen Set Checklist

  1. Harry Lewis
  2. Fred Storbeck
  3. Georges Carpentier
  4. Jim Driscoll
  5. Jack Johnson
  6. Young Joseph
  7. Gunner James Moir
  8. Tommy Burns
  9. P.O. Curran
  10. Billy Papke
  11. Johnny Summers
  12. Sam Langford
  13. Georges Carpentier
  14. Joe Jeanette
  15. Pat O’Keefe
  16. Packey Mahoney
  17. The Dixie Kid
  18. Jack Johnson
  19. Charles Ledoux
  20. Tom McCormick
  21. Fred Welsh
  22. Bombardier Wells
  23. Hughie Mehegan
  24. Digger Stanley
  25. Jim Johnson

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