G-Cards (Banners/Labels)


Honus Wagner Cigar LabelFor most sports collectors, G-Cards represent only banners and labels. The official designation in the American Card Catalog includes other things such as types of posters, albums, movie stills, catalogs, labels, and sheet music that included songs used by companies in the promotion of their business or their products.

Sticking with the banners and labels since that is what’s relevant to this page, only a few existed. Banners advertised some of the more popular 19th Century tobacco cards produced by Allen & Ginter and Goodwin. Labels, meanwhile, included cigar box labels, cigar bands, and tin tobacco tags.

The sports banners are extremely rare. It should also be noted that, similar to the albums, they were sometimes cut up since they featured individual pictures of cards in the sets they were promoting. Those cut cards do hold some value today, but they are worth only a fraction of the actual cards that were distributed inside of packages of tobacco products. Interestingly enough, Jefferson Burdick stated in the American Card Catalog that the cut cards from banners and posters had ‘no value whatever (sic).’ That may have been true at the time but the cards do indeed hold value today.

The cigar box labels, cigar bands, and tin tobacco tags are a little easier to find but still not incredibly plentiful. While most labels (such as the Hans Wagner one shown here) referred to were for cigar products, some were used on other types of products such as coffee. For that reason, Burdick likely placed these here instead of with the tobacco issues.

Catalogued Issues

1888 G20 Allen & Ginter World Champions Banner (N28)
1889 G21 Allen & Ginter World Champions Banner (N29)
1888 G51 Duke’s Terrors of America Banner (N88)
1889 G75 Goodwin Games and Sports Banner (N165)
1889 G76 Goodwin Baseball Album Banner (A35)
1888/1889 G111 Buchner Views and Girls Banner (N285 Morning Glory Maidens)

Uncatalogued Issues

Baseball Catcher Tin Tobacco Tag
Baseball Cigar Bands
Baseball Cigar Box Labels
1887 Kimball Champions Banner (N184)

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