Saturday, July 15, 2017

German Advertising and Collectible Cards - Koberich's Catalogs

Since moving to Germany, I've had a lull in importing Japanese sumo cards so I have been keeping myself occupied with German cards.  Hopefully, everyone will find some interest in these as they are quite a fascinating piece of collecting.  Doing research, I quickly found that Angelika Koberich is the king cataloging German cards.  He also runs an antique book shop up in Rabenau Germany and has an online presence here.  I reached out to Mr. Koberich directly about ordering two of his books and he responded very quickly.  He even sent them to me with a bill enclosed so wasn't expecting payment up front.  I think that is common here in German and a nice bit of customer service.  The two books I ordered were his German Advertising and Collectable Cards from 1872-1945 (Volume 1) and 1946-2001 (Volume 2).  Having just published my Sumo Menko and Card Checklist, I am always fond of other card catalogers.  These books are simply amazing.  Each is hardcover and about 275 pages each.  Even with extremely basic German-language skills I was able to decipher on how to use them.  Although there are no pictures of cards in the sets, the catalog in both books is presented nicely (see picture) to find what set the cards belong to.  Each set has 1) Year produced, 2) Catalog Number and Sequence Number, 3) Title, 4) Number of Cards in Set, and 5) Price. There is a nice index in the back that you can find your set and then go search it in the actual catalog to find all the details.

My real interest in these is that they catalog the German tobacco cards quite nicely.  These cards were originally issued with packs of cigarettes.  Eventually, coupons were added to the packs instead of the actual cards and they the buyer could then redeem so many coupons for packets of cards (issued in groups called Gruppe to stick in albums.  It seems about 5-10 packets of cards would complete 200-300 card sets so each Gruppe packet held about 20-30 cards.  It is more common than not to find albums with all the cards glued into the albums.  Here is an example I pulled from the internet:

This particular set is the Deutsche Volkstrachten which appears to be cards of people from all over Germany.  According to Koberich, this set was made in 1933 by Eckstein, a cigarette manufacturer out of Dresden.  The catalog number is #20502-12...this was the 12th set they produced and it has 198 cards.  Pretty cool.

Once I hit up some more flea markets, I'll post my finds.  Cheers and I hope everyone enjoys there weekend!


  1. Cool books. Reminds me of yours... which I love. Stay tuned for a post on that. It's good to know that there are some places in the world where "trust" exists. Not sure there are many places in the States where companies will send a product and a billing slip.

  2. They are pretty cool in hand. I should have a few more arriving this week. It is refreshing....I wish the collecting scene was stronger here in Germany though.