Issuing Company: Lambert and Butler|
Country of Issue: New Zealand
Year of Issue: 1927
Number of Cards in Set:
Card Size: photo size 5 1/2" x 7 1/2" on a 8" x 10" mount
Issued as insert with what product: Cigarettes - Mail-in Offer
Notes: Checklist probably not complete. These cards were issued as a mail-in offer for sending 30 Varsity cigarette packet fronts.
Wayne King of New Zealand is the world's expert on these cards, and this is what he has to say about them:
"In 1927, the Lambert and Butler tobacco company in Great Britain introduced a scheme (only in New Zealand) where the smokers of their Varsity cigarettes could collect photographs of their favorite film stars.
This is how the scheme worked - brochures were printed and distributed to tobacconists who stocked the various photos customers could choose from.
There are two distinct types:
Type 1 - photographs about 5 1/2" x 7 1/12" on a cream mount measuring 8" x 10". On the back is printed "With the Compliments of the Proprietors of Varsity Cigarettes." The photographs are portraits of film stars in sepia color. 49 different cards have been recorded.
Type 2 - These apart from two are on the whole film stills or scenes from films, photo size 8" x 10" on a brown mount measuring 9" x 12". On the back of the mount is a gum label (same wording as Type 1), except the description of the photograph is in the form of a hand stamp. 50 different photographs are known to have been available, but only about 30 have actually been recorded.
Orders were sent to Crown photographic studios in Wellington via postoffice box address. Customers would only receive a photograph of their choice if they sent 30 Varsity cigarette packet fronts to the P.O. Box address.
The scheme seems to have lasted just under two years. Later additions to the scheme were New Zealand-related subjects, so 1 1/2 years would be more correct for the movie stars.
Today these photographs are extremely rare."
Dolores Del Rio
Laura La Plante
Rod La Rocque
Anna Q. Nilsson
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