1889 Dukes Tobacco Chromolithograph Roll Up Advertising Sign N70 Tobacco Cards
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1889 Dukes Tobacco Chromolithograph Roll Up Advertising Sign N70 Tobacco Cards:
Exceptionally rare, original, 1889 W. Duke, Sons & Co. Tobacco Company Roll-Up, Point-of-Sale, Chromolithographed Advertising Sign featuring Tobacco Cards from the N70 and N71 Series titled "Actors and Actresses" and images from the Tobacco Card Premium Album that complimented that Series of Cards titled "Costumes of All Nations". This outstanding, Roll Up Advertising Sign features images of approx. 60 of the Tobacco Cards from these Series along with a large, central portrait of the great Stage Actress of the period Miss Lilly Langtry. This same Portrait of Miss Langtry appear in the A61 Tobacco Card Premium that features the N70 and N71 Tobacco Cards.
This very rare Tobacco / Cigarette Card Advertising Sign measures approx. 14” by 28 1/2" and retains its original metal strips at the top and bottom edges. The Sign is beautifully framed for display without covering up any of the edges so the full beauty of the Sign is seen (overall size of framed display is 16 1/4" by 31"). Text at the top of the Sign reads "Our Leading Actors and Actresses in / The Costumes of All Nations / From 500 B.C. to 1888 A.D.". Text at the bottom of the Sign reads "Are Packed in Boxes of Duke's Cameo Cigarettes". The chromolithography is of the very highest quality and although the Sign is not marked by the manufacturer, we are quite sure that it was lithographed by Knapp & Co. of New York City who printed the Tobacco Cards pictured for Duke as well as the Premium Album from which the larger portrait of Lilly Langtry was taken.
When Duke released its popular 1888 N70 and N71 Costumes of All Nations Tobacco card insert set, this stunning Advertising Sign heralded the arrival of these beautiful Tobacco Cards. The central image of this poster is one of those elusive, oversized beauties from the mail-away premium album that collected the set's images. This central image pictures one of the leading female performers of the era—the English actress known to the world as Mrs. Lillian ("Jersey Lil") Langtry. Yet we must confess, as beautiful as we feel the cards and special album artworks to be, we fully believe that they all pale next to this very special Advertising Poster / Sign. This wonderful Roll-Up Advertising Sign was produced during an age when the printing industry was the only nationwide communication form, and the chromolithographers of the time were the reigning monarchs of that medium. It is an outstanding representation of the printer's "state of the art" for the period. Here is an Image with rich depths of color blending (possibly as much as a 14-plate process) that is stunningly beautiful. The lithographer's bold choice of colors is markedly exceptional. The decision to use a pricier metallic gold ink for the banner's background adds greatly to the work's level of impact, sharply dividing each integral element of the graphics and "punching up" every unique portrait and separate element for maximum beauty and visual effect
Late 19th century Tobacco Advertising Signs with images of Tobacco Cards of the period are very rare and highly sought after by collectors. We have seldom been lucky enough to own an example of one of these Roll-Up Signs and are proud to offer it here, as always, without reserve!!!
This very rare, 1888 Duke Tobacco Company, Chromolithographed, Tobacco Card Illustrated Advertising Sign is in excellent condition. The Sign displays beautifully - the colors are bright and vibrant, rich and warm. As stated above the Banner is nicely mounted within a matte and frame presentation that allows for viewing of both side edges and the original brass trim rods at the upper and lower edges. A modicum of horizontal and angled creases appear above and to either side of the banner's large titling. A few other areas of imperfection also appear, including some other, less-pronounced surface creases and a darkening (probably from hand oils) around the word "The" within the title. There is what appears to be a tight, repaired tear at the upper left hand corner of the sheet and a few tiny edge chips affecting the side margins (see the scans below). While we can't tell without taking the entire presentation apart, we suspect that some conservation work has been performed to the back, possibly in the form of a preservative rice paper backing. But we should stress that this item's incredible level of beauty appears to be all its own, showing no sign of restoration work in any form - no in-painting or pulp addition. This is as nice an example of any of the Tobacco banners as we have ever seen. Overall this outstanding Chromolithographed Advertising Sign is well preserved and display beautifully as framed.
An exceptionally rare and very attractive, 1888 W. Duke, Sons & Co. Tobacco Company Roll-Up, Point-of-Sale, Chromolithographed Advertising Sign featuring Tobacco Cards from the N70 and N71 Series titled "Actors and Actresses" and a central portrait of Lilly Langtry from the Tobacco Card Premium Album that complimented that Series of Cards titled "Costumes of All Nations" and a fantastic addition to any collection!!
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