GENERAL CUSTER 1911 TOBACCO CARD

$35.00 SOLD

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Item Code: 286-543

Like bubblegum trading cards, color lithographed tobacco cards were a popular marketing ploy. This one is touted on the reverse as being part of the Second Series of “Men of History” as published by Royal Bengals Little Cigars in 1911, the timing probably having no little to do with the 50th anniversary of the Civil War. Custer is shown on the front in a portrait bust wearing his dress uniform as Lieutenant Colonel of the Seventh Cavalry. In the background, which looks a little like the painted desert, a mounted cavalryman with binoculars on bluff looks at a village of teepees in the distance. At his right seems to be a partial figure of a soldier gesturing in that direction, perhaps suggesting he look a little closer and get a more precise count of the Indians in the area before advancing. Custer is titled at the top of the card, “Hero of the Little Big Horn,” which seems an overly positive spin to put on the matter. A brief history of the general in the Civil War and his last battle are compressed into about eighteen lines or text on the reverse. A purple ink stamp runs across the cigar company information at the bottom. This is likely the name of the local retailer. The colors very good. Minor foxing, rounded corners, and a surface crack at lower right, but still a reminder of his popularity in popular culture and a nice piece for a collection of “Custeriana.” Stabilized in a hard plastic case.[sr]

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