Obscure Card of the Month: 1915 Stollwerck Chocolates Ice Hockey Card
The Obscure Card of the Month is a Rare Hockey Card
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that I love the Stollwerck Chocolate cards. The cards are diverse in appearance and covered a very long period of time, starting in the late 1800s and continuing sporadically into the 1990s. These were German cards issued by Stollwerck, a popular chocolate and candy company, in series’ of six.
While the most recent Stollwerck cards were issued not that long ago, the majority of these cards were issued from around 1897 through the 1930s and there were more than 5,000 cards issued according to this page. And one of those is the Obscure Card of the Month.
As I covered here, the Stollwerck cards included just about everything. Many collectors shy away from it because it’s largely a non-sports series. But there are a decent number of sports cards in it and one of the key ones is for the sport of hockey.
Many of the sports cards are for track and field or more minor sports. But hockey is the only one of the big four American sports that’s included along with some other popular sports, such as golf and tennis.
The card is in a sport-heavy Gruppe (Group) No. 565, as indicated on the back. Stollwerck sets were issued in groups of six and the hockey card is No. 3 in Gruppe 565. Unfortunately, the back is written in German but Google translate helps a bit with that. Roughly translated, the back reads:
The game of hockey is also often played on the ice. In general, the same rules apply to ice hockey as to land hockey. The game differs from the land game in that it is played on school shoes, requires a larger playing field and a differently shaped stick.
The ball must have a red or black color so that it stands out from the ice surface. The player must be a good skater. He has to be agile in turning and suddenly stopping in order to be able to follow the ball quickly and knock it off. Unlike land hockey, the stick is not provided with a rounded hitting end, but with a bent end at an angle of about 45 degrees.
Shown here is the original back.
As you can see from the translation, the description on the back is largely spent comparing the sport to field hockey. It also references the use of a ball but early forms of hockey used a ball instead of a puck. The use of a ball is also not first seen on this card as other early hockey issues on trade cards featured the sport being played with a ball instead of a puck.
Regarding a date of issue, the card is often offered without one identified. However, it was included in Album 15 and according to this listing, those cards were printed in 1915. I have also seen these cards listed as 1913 issues.
The card is not an easy one to find by any means. When you do find it, knowledgeable sellers can ask starting prices of around $30-$50 for low-grade examples.