Catalog Archive
Auction 142, Lot 213

"[Lot of 2 - California]", Arbuckle Bros. Coffee Co.

Subject: California

Period: 1889-92 (published)


Color: Printed Color

5 x 3 inches
12.7 x 7.6 cm
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This pair of trade cards featuring California is from the State Map and U.S. Pictorial History series. The map card features images of the Golden Gate (pre-bridge), wine making and a cornucopia representing the agricultural bounty of the state. This is No. 74 from the original map series, lithographed by Donaldson Brothers, NY, in 1889. The historical card (No. 16) features an old mission, Sir Francis Drake landing at San Francisco in 1579, Sequoia trees, and miners panning for gold. A brief history of the state is included on the verso. This is No. 16 of the series, also lithographed by Donaldson Brothers in 1892.

Beginning in the mid-1880s, the Arbuckle Bros. Coffee Company began to include advertising cards, commonly referred to as "trade cards," in packages of their coffee. This was a common device used by companies of the time to tout the virtues of their products. But the Arbuckle company carried the concept a step further and created a series of very desirable images. They then encouraged their customers to collect the entire series of cards and to trade cards with their neighbors in order to complete their sets. Thus, "trade" cards began to evolve into "trading" cards.

Arbuckle issued a great variety of cards including birds, animals, cooking, satire, sports and maps. The U.S. map and history series were extremely popular. These fascinating cards are still actively collected today, more than 120 years after they were issued. The original Arbuckle Bros. Coffee Company, on the other hand, vanished from the scene over 60 years ago.


Condition: A

Minor toning and stains on verso, not affecting images.

Estimate: $80 - $100

Sold for: $60

Closed on 11/28/2012