Arents, G. Tobacco 1145. The majority of the cards depict those devices or signs common to the trade: Indians, "blackamoors," tobacco rolls, and Scots Highlanders. Also included are images of the tobacco plant and processes of cultivation and trade, including sailing vessels; portraits of persons traditionally associated with tobacco, such as Sir Walter Raleigh; representations of historical events such as the Walpole Excise Bill and balloon ascensions of the late 18th century; decorative cards showing scrolls, figures, ornaments and devices, including heraldic devices; and convivial or facetious scenes including men drinking and smoking, "the man in the moon," and puns on tobacconists' names. Of less frequent occurrence are the cards with Cupids or Bacchus, Grand Turk, Masonic and Order of Bucks symbols, and cards that advertise other wares or professions than that associated with tobacco. Some cards include charades, anagrams, conundrums, or puzzles. Some include sententious or moral phrases and rhymes. The legends which most commonly occur are "Best under the sun," "Best Virginia," and "Sweet scented." From the collections of Thomas Gosden, George Daniel, William Bragge and J. Eliot Hodgkin and George Arents, and later additions from various sources.
Works without merchant's name or legend numbered 1-58. Works with merchant's name or legends arranged alphabetically by name or legend, and numbered 1-37a, 37b-485. Makers of prints mostly not known; engravers include William Hogarth and others. NOTE Illustrated cards advertising the wares of various tobacco merchants primarily of England, and also including French, Dutch and German issues. There are also examples of labels and wrappers, and other smoking related prints. Legends are in English, French, Dutch, German and Latin. NOTE Admission granted through application to the Office of Special Collections.
544 prints : engraving, etching, wood engraving, lithograph ; 5 x 5 cm. - 22 x 33 cm. 5 cm. - 22 x 33 cm. (folded to 15 cm.) on mounts approx. 29 x 22 cm.