Saturday, February 23, 2019

1905 John Player Riders of the World

It's been two weeks since I hinted at this post, so I supposed I really need to get it out of the way. I have a number of other acquisitions to share, so I need to knock this one off.

The set is the 1905 UK release from John Player & Sons tobacco company called Riders of the World. It is a 50 card celebrating riders from all over the world, from the UK to America and the Caucasus and Sri Lanka.  That last sentence may seem poorly written with it's awkward reference to 'riders', but there is a reason for that.

I acquired this set as part of my horse themed tobacco card collection, but not all of the cards feature horses, as you will see below.

And here they are:

The two cards in the set that don't feature horses.  They should present me something of a dilemma in that they don't really fit into a horse themed collection. But, I am first, and foremost, a set collector. So, they stay in the binder, with their set mates.

The set itself does present the completist in me with another challenge.  There are, at least 6 other versions of this set.  There are three versions issued by John Player: the brown backs seen above, along with a white back and plain back variations.  W.D. &  H.O. Wills issued this set in Australia in 1913 and across the Tasmanian Sea in New Zealand in 1926.  And, finally (as far as I know), United Tobacco issued two versions of this set in South Africa in 1931.  

I really can't see myself trying to acquire a copy of every variation, though I could get one version from each unique country, or perhaps just one English version and one copy of the South African version, which I assume is in Afrikaaner.  For right now, I'll just stick with the one and only expand the number of versions in my collection if I an do so affordably.

What I am listening to: The L&N Don't Stop Here Anymore by Billy Bragg and Joe Henry


  1. I'm not a big fans of clowns... but I really, really, really want a copy of The Circus Rider.

    P.S. Great song! I really like this version of the song.

  2. It does have a bit of a Pennywise vibe about it.