N-Cards (19th Century Tobacco)
N-Cards are tobacco cards from the 19th Century when trading cards first arrived. In addition to the N-Card designated issues, many releases were printed that were not cataloged. Those issues are listed at the end in alphabetical order. N-Cards are one of two tobacco card types. They represent 19th Century cards while T-Cards are tobacco cards from the 20th Century.
One important distinction regarding Jefferson Burdick and N-Cards is that his American Card Catalog did not classify N-Cards the way that we do today. His book actually catalogued N-Cards as Central and South American tobacco cards. Today, collectors categorize N-Cards as tobacco issues in the 19th Century.
While some N-Cards are crude in design, many also feature some excellent lithography. Issues such as N28/N29 Allen & Ginter, for example, are considered among the finest trading card sets in terms of the artwork.
Many N-Cards feature color lithography. Some, however, look drastically different. Issues such as the N172 Old Judge baseball card set feature actual sepia-tone photographs that were printed then mounted onto cardboard backing. Many of these types of cards have faded over time, making them difficult to preserve. N-Cards that were similarly produced have a premium placed on them if the images are clear.
Note that this page contains only 19th Century tobacco cards here. Other 19th Century cards appear on other pages and grouped together as similar items.
Looking to learn more about collecting tobacco cards? Here’s an introduction of sorts that I wrote, which covers their history.
- 1888 Allen & Ginter (N28)
- 1889 Allen & Ginter (N29)
- 1889 Allen & Ginter (N43)
- 1888/1889 Buchner Morning Glory Maidens (N285)
- 1888 Duke Histories of Poor Boys (N79)
- 1889 Duke Honest Long Cut Actors & Actresses (N150)
- 1889 Duke Fair Play Tobacco Actors & Actresses (N150)
- 1889 Gail & Ax Bob Link Actors & Actresses (N150)
- 1889 Gail & Ax Navy Actors & Actresses (N150)
- 1889 Gail & Ax Pay Day Actors & Actresses (N150)
- 1889 Goodwin Games & Sports (N165)
- 1889 Hess Cigarettes Athletes & Celebrities (N332)
- 1887 Kimball Champions (N184)
- 1889 Kinney Magic Changing Cards (N223)
- 1890 Kinney Bros Actresses and Famous People (N246)
- 1890s Little Rhody George Young (N537)
- 1887 Lorillard’s Mechanics Delight (N269)
- 1893 Lorillard’s Red Cross Boxing Positions & Boxers (N266)
- 1890 Mayo Cut Plug Prizefighters (N310)
- 1895 Newsboy Cabinets (N566)
- 1888 Old Fashion Negro Subjects (N682/N692)
- 1886 Old Judge (N167)
- 1887-90 Old Judge (N174)
- 1887-90 Gypsy Queen (N174)
- 1888 Sunny South Series (N157)
- 1889 Spaulding & Merrick (N384 / N386)
- Uncatalogued Cabinets