Issuing Company: Lambert and Butler
Country of Issue: New Zealand
Year of Issue: 1927
Color/B&W: B&W
Number of Cards in Set:
Card Size: photo size 5 1/2" x 7 1/2" on a 8" x 10" mount
Issued as insert with what product: Cigarettes - Mail-in Offer

Notes: Checklist probably not complete. These cards were issued as a mail-in offer for sending 30 Varsity cigarette packet fronts.

Wayne King of New Zealand is the world's expert on these cards, and this is what he has to say about them:

"In 1927, the Lambert and Butler tobacco company in Great Britain introduced a scheme (only in New Zealand) where the smokers of their Varsity cigarettes could collect photographs of their favorite film stars.

This is how the scheme worked - brochures were printed and distributed to tobacconists who stocked the various photos customers could choose from.

There are two distinct types:

Type 1 - photographs about 5 1/2" x 7 1/12" on a cream mount measuring 8" x 10". On the back is printed "With the Compliments of the Proprietors of Varsity Cigarettes." The photographs are portraits of film stars in sepia color. 49 different cards have been recorded.

Type 2 - These apart from two are on the whole film stills or scenes from films, photo size 8" x 10" on a brown mount measuring 9" x 12". On the back of the mount is a gum label (same wording as Type 1), except the description of the photograph is in the form of a hand stamp. 50 different photographs are known to have been available, but only about 30 have actually been recorded.

Orders were sent to Crown photographic studios in Wellington via postoffice box address. Customers would only receive a photograph of their choice if they sent 30 Varsity cigarette packet fronts to the P.O. Box address.

The scheme seems to have lasted just under two years. Later additions to the scheme were New Zealand-related subjects, so 1 1/2 years would be more correct for the movie stars.

Today these photographs are extremely rare."

Renee Adoree
Vilma Banky
John Barrymore
Madge Bellamy
Clara Bow
Mary Brian
Lon Chaney
Charlie Chaplin
Ronald Colman
Jackie Coogan
Bebe Daniels
Marion Davies
Dolores Del Rio
Reginald Denny
Richard Dix
Billie Dove
Douglas Fairbanks
Greta Garbo
Janet Gaynor
Hoot Gibson
Lillian Gish
Corinne Griffith
Lloyd Hughes
Norman Kerry
Laura La Plante
Rod La Rocque
Harold Lloyd
Douglas Maclean
May McAvoy
Thomas Meighan
Adolphe Menjou
Patsy Miller
Tom Mix
Colleen Moore
Lois Moran
Antonio Moreno
Ramon Novarro
Pola Negri
Anna Q. Nilsson
Marion Nixon
Sally O'Neil
Mary Pickford
Esther Ralston
Gloria Swanson
Constance Talmadge
Norma Talmadge
Fred Thompson
Rudolf Valentino

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