1930s Godfrey Phillips BDV Sports Set and Checklist

‘It’s In The Details’

Title Godfrey Phillips BDV Sports
Year 1930s
Size 1 3/8″ x 2 1/2″ (but can vary by cut)
Images Color
Type Tobacco
Number in Set
344 (?)

1930s Godfrey Phillips BDV Sports Overview

Kid Berg BDV Sports BoxingThis issue was printed by Godfrey Phillips, Ltd. for use with their BDV Sports products.

Godfrey Phillips printed numerous card sets. According to this page, the BDV name was an abbreviated version of the Latin words, Benedictus dominus vobiscum, meaning “The pipe of peace.” It is also notable to point out that the packages where these cards are found could give a different meaning as the phrase, “Best dependable value” is printed on them.

While most of Godfrey Phillips’ cards were traditional tobacco issues, the unique aspect with this set is that these cards were printed on the outside of their packaging as opposed to being inserts. Thus, they are hand cuts and you can find them in an assortment of size variations. Variations also exist in the paper stock on which they are printed. Some cards are on thin paper while others are on a thicker cardboard stock.

A number of subjects were included in this set. Sports represented in the set include boxing, soccer, cricket, horse racing, auto racing, and athletics/track and field. Also included were actors and actresses. Some collectors may consider these subsets to be sets of their own.

The cards have orange borders with color pictures while the backs are blank. The subject’s name is printed on the bottom. These were printed in the 1930s with most sources citing them to 1932 and/or 1934.

Finally, while most of these cards have been cut from the packaging, uncut versions with the full packaging are known. They are, however, rare and significantly more valuable than the cut cards.

Cut cards will vary in size, obviously. But the cards measure from the orange borders at 1 3/8″ wide by 2 1/2″ tall.

Variations and Later Years

Many variations exist for the athletes included.

On some cards, the athlete’s clothes can be a different color. On others, the background is different. Some also have the name presented differently at the bottom. Other variations include team changes or spellings of names.

And of course, as mentioned above, there is the variation in paper stock on which the cards are printed.

Finally, it should be noted that Godfrey Phillips created later issues of the BDV Sports cards. These are easily distinguished from the 1930s cards as they have blue borders instead of orange.

1930s Godfrey Phillips BDV Sports Checklist

While I have not formulated a checklist for this set, a collector in the UK indicated these are the numbers of types of cards in the set.

Links to subset checklists, where known, have been provided below.

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