Ardath Real Photographs of Modern Aircraft Cigarette Cards
Founded 1895 at Leadenhall Street, London and was originally called Albert Levy & Thomas. The name of the company was changed in 1901 to the Ardath Tobacco Company and was split in 1925 when it was sold. British American Tobacco acquired the overseas rights of Ardath, while the Imperial Tobacco Group retained the rights of sale within the United Kingdom and Ireland. Ardath's brands endured, perhaps the most famous being 'State Express 555' and the company was granted a Royal Warrant by King George VI in 1946.
Ardarth did not issue cards until just before the First World War and the first sets were photogravure reproductions of famous paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens, Raphael, and Valasquez. On offer here is a complete set of 'Real Photographs of Modern Aircraft' that were issued just before WWII, in 1939. The set is complete, containing 36 separate images of assorted civilian and military aircraft including the Spitfire, Hurricane, Wellington, Blenheim and my late father's aircraft the Handley Page Hampden and are all mounted by an unknown hand in a quality album. The individual black and white pictures are mounted using photograph hinges so can be removed without damaging, if so required. On the back of each card is detailed the basic facts appertaining to the aircraft depicted. We have removed card nos 33, A Ju 87 'Stuka', to illustrate this, as shown in the listing images.
The photograph album is a quality item and we believe of the period and is marked 'British Made' on the reptile embossed card cover. The first 5 double sided pages of the album are filled and the remainder are blank. Each of the 36 photo cards measures 3" x 2.5" (8 cm x 6.75 cm). The album measures 10.25" x 7.25" (26 cm x 18.5 cm).The album and cards remain in excellent original condition, despite originating 84 years ago.