Obscure Card of the Month: c. 1910 Jules Macors Basketball Trade Card
This unique trade card features an early basketball image featuring women playing the sport.
Women were frequently used on early basketball items, sometimes shown in formal apparel such as this. The outfits are somewhat similar to those found on the popular 1903 Joseph Tetlow trade cards but those feature apparel that was more related to a specific team (even though no such women’s team existed at the time for Princeton).
Interestingly, this image was also used on a postcard. However, I have only seen it on this trade card as discussed here. While it is relatively common to find on a postcard, it seems to be extraordinarily scarce on trade cards. Further, I have never even seen another copy of this particular trade card.
The back of this card has an advertisement for Jules Macors, a French distillery. The advertisement is in French and calls it the distillery of sportsmen, further identifying this as a sports issue. The address and phone number of the company is in France and is printed on the back, and the card warns consumers not to accept imitations. Being distributed in France is certainly one reason the card has eluded collectors here. Even finding information on Macors and his business has proven to be extremely difficult.
Note that while I have called this a Jules Macors trade card, it is unknown if other advertisers used this same image on their trade cards as was the case for many trade cards in that time period.
The card is somewhat unique as it is sturdier than other trade issues, which were often printed on thinner paper stock. This card is printed on more of a postcard stock and even has a semi-gloss finish.
An exact date for the card is unknown. However, this postcard for the company was dated to 1912. Other postcards with this image also are postmarked from around that same time period. That is the likely period of production for this issue as well.