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Old 09-09-2019, 01:48 PM
G1911 G1911 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 727

Originally Posted by scooter729 View Post
I just checked through about 40 examples of those cards with no new ones to add to your list.

Curious how you feel about C52 being part of the T218 master set. I know it's technically a different set, but I've always thought of it as something I would want for a T218 master. (Admittedly, I am not chasing a T218 master, but have a regular T218 set along with a C52 set.) The fronts are the same (albeit with a smaller checklist for the C52s), and it's really similar to just being a different ad on the back.

I've flip-flopped on this issue several times, and have struggled to identify much of any evidence about the particulars of this set beyond the checklist. I'm collecting a C52 run along with my T218 set, though I'm only at ~35 cards or so.

First, like Dave, I question whether this was even a Canadian issue. It seems to me the primary evidence it is Canadian is that A) it has card numbers (which Imperial Tobacco often did), and B) that there is no factory number on the back (as required by American law, but in no other nation), which are both very circumstantial and could lead to many other conclusions too. I know of some sourced from Canada, but some of mine have come from original collections in the American south too, mixed with Mecca backs. I'm not aware of any real evidence that the set is indeed Canadian, though it very well may be true. I don't think the evidence is enough to assume Burdick's designation as a Canadian set is true.

To me, the key points for considering it part of T218 is that it was clearly printed by American Lithographic around the time of the T218 set (most 'reprint' tobacco sets like T223, T215 etc. have much lower quality images, as the original printing stones/plates wore down), sharing the same artwork. The key evidence against is that the checklist of the first series of C52 does not align with T218.

I think it is safe to say C52 series 1 was not printed concurrently with T218. A) It is missing Handy, who was released with T218-1 during its initial Mecca run and then pulled, and B) card #1 is Jack Johnson (Green), who was not printed in the initial run of T218-1 but added to the issue part way through (though I think a preponderance of the evidence suggests this actually has nothing to do with Handy being pulled, as is often said, as, for starters, both cards are very common with a Mecca 649 back). C) The 9 T218-2 cards that appear with duplicate numbers in the first series of C52.

To me, with the evidence available, it is a separate set, but closely related cousin, like T219. T219 was printed in the same period as T218, but not at the same time, and thus, is a cousin set instead of a back variation. I think there is a separation between the 3 sets based on A) the series composition being different and B) that they were printed at different times. More evidence about the actual time of printing and how/where/why the C52 backs were issued could easily change this conclusion, in my personal opinion.
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