Thursday, 19 February 2015

North Borneo cigarette cards part 3

Firstly, wishing everyone a Happy Chinese New Year. The Chinese lunar New Year of the Goat starts today.
These posts on cigarette cards do not seem popular but I am plodding on and will use these pages for my own future reference. I am please to own what seems to be a very comprehensive collection of cigarette cards of North Borneo and allied territories. The following are British in origin. They include some of the most attractive designs seen for these old cards.

Players cigarettes which was mainly based in Nottingham GB issued 2 series depicting medals and medallions. These 2 were from the first series of 50 circa 1912. The second series of 90 cards had no representation from BNB so far I know. The back of the card gives a very good description.

This is the Tambunan medal for 1900. It is interesting to find the company motto of Pergo et Perago has been interpreted as I advance and accomplish. 
This is the punitive expedition against Mat Salleh in Tambunan which led to his demise and was the beginning of the end of the rebellion.

version 1

version 1 back
There is more than meets the eye with this particular card from Will's cigarettes which was part of Imperial Tobacco. I bought another 2 versions from a local fair recently. Looking at the back, I realise thee are some differences. I think this version 1 is earlier than version 2 with a slightly different format in black on the back and no writing on the side.

version 2

version 2 back
Version 2 has the back in blue print and also the two side advertised albums available for sale to store these series of cards. These cards were issued around 1910.

version 3

version 3 back
The front of this card was poorly set up for printing and the lettering is in black instead of blue. This should have been later than version 1 with the extra advertisement on the side. This is despite the fact that tobacco for pipe use came earlier than cigars and cigarettes. The bottom of the card advertised the various brands for pipe smoking.

A cigar box from the state cigar company. Each box can hold 50 small cigars. The box was probably from the early 20th century.

An advertisement in Punch of the various types of cigars available which were guaranteed by the Government of North Borneo. The tobacco grown in North Borneo was used mainly as wrapper leaf and so what was inside the cigar was probably sourced elsewhere.


  1. Such a great endeavor! Dear sir, I would like to cite your images in my research writing, can I have your contact email to deliver the relative document (student verification letter)? Thank you!

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Dear Sir, could I have your permission to use the images of Will's Cigarettes packaging in my thesis writing? This source will be acknowledged and cited in the paper as well. Much appreciated!