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But for a sheer political incorrectness, two Edwardian cigarette cards offered at Berkshire specialist Loddon Auctions (17% buyer’s premium) on April 10 took some beating.

From a rare series published by Ogden’s tobacco titled Sporting & Other Girls, they showed female boxers in figure-hugging attire with the legend Smoke Ogden’s Special Mixture.

One compounded the offence by showing two boxers and the caption Well put in. The other, a single busty pugilist promoting Ogden’s Demon Flake, was captioned A pretty bruiser.

Both slightly scuffed, each sold within estimate at £680 at the Arborfield sale.

Extra Ogden's

Ogden’s was also a name of choice at Tennants’ (20% buyer’s premium) sporting and collectables sale in Leyburn on April 3 which included an extensive collection of Edwardian cigarette cards offered in 14 lots.

Three collectors in the room dominated the bidding, resulting in everything being sold for a total of £11,910.

One lot flew: a three-box selection that mixed relatively common sets such as British Costumes From 100BC to 1904 and Ogden’s Flags and Funnels of Leading Shipping Lines, alongside rarer issues such as Churchman’s Lawn Tennis and the 1935 Cope Boxing Lessons. The lot was estimated at £100-150 but sold at £2200.

Another prize at the 529-lot sale, 96% of which sold to a total of £75,550, was an ebonised display cabinet engraved JS Fry & Sons Ltd. Still with two original mirrored shelves, it quadrupled top hopes taking £1200.

Chocolate of choice

Cadbury’s was the chocolate of choice at Kingham & Orme’s (20% buyer’s premium) advertising and kitchenalia sale on April 12 which included an early-20th century wall-mounted display cabinet at a double estimate £1300.


Charrington’s beer coloured glass panel – £1800 at Kingham & Orme.

Best-seller at the Evesham sale, however, was a coloured glass advertising sign for Charrington’s Mild & Burton. Dated c.1897 and believed to be from The Sultan pub in London’s East End, the framed, 2ft 1in x 4ft 4in (64cm x 1.33m) panel sold within estimate at £1800.

Lifetime collection

A collection of advertising items built up over a lifetime was offered in 60 lots and estimated to bring £6000-8000 at Gloucestershire’s Smiths Newent Auctions (22% buyer’s premium inc vat) but brought a total of £22,000 thanks in part to strong trade interest.

Top-seller at the April 5 sale was the 3ft 2in (96cm) tall Ogden’s High Class Cigarettes shop display vending cabinet. Pitched at £300-500, it sold at £3200 to an Irish dealer who made several key purchases.