Raphael Tuck & Sons Giant Relief Die-Cuts Set and Checklist

‘It’s In The Details’

Title Raphael Tuck & Sons Giant Relief Die-Cuts
Year 1880s or 1890s
Size Varies
Images Color
Type 19th Century Tobacco
Number in Set

Raphael Tuck & Sons Giant Relief Die-Cuts Set Overview

Raphael Tuck Giant Relief Die CutThis die-cut issue features a total of eight football players. It is believed to have been printed in the late 1880s or early 1890s for Raphael Tuck & Sons.

The cards were all originally printed attached together. A tab printed onto one of the players identifies the sets as the Giant Relief set. The series is sometimes simply known as No. 204 as a tab with that number is found on some the uncut/fully attached sets. Other sets of the same cards have a tab that has the word ‘Football’ on it.

Players are printed wearing an assortment of colored uniforms and each is pictured with a ball. Captions for each card are printed onto the playing field at the bottoms.

Raphael Tuck & Sons produced numerous die-cut sets of other subjects, including baseball players in 1888. They also produced another set as part of their different Gigantic Relief series featuring black athletes. Additionally, a set of six cricket cards in a similar fashion is also known. Just as the football series is known as No. 204, the cricket set is No. 203.

You can see pictures of the die-cuts here.

Football or Rugby?

While some sets of these have been known to have a ‘football’ tab attached to them, there are questions surrounding the exact sport depicted — American football or European football/rugby.

According to this page, the producer of this set, Raphael Tuck & Sons, had both offices in the U.S. and overseas. Some of the cards undoubtedly depict rugby players while others appear to have pictures that could show American football.

My personal belief is that this is a rugby issue. While it is clear some of these are rugby cards, there is not really evidence to prove they are American football cards. Nevertheless, because of a bit of ambiguity, I have mentioned the set on this site.

Raphael Tuck & Sons Giant Relief Die-Cuts Set Checklist

  1. Are You ready
  2. The Captain
  3. Don’t Swallow it Old Man
  4. A Drop
  5. A Full Stop
  6. Going for a Try
  7. Lifting a Goal
  8. Ready for Anything

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