Your cart
is currently empty

Souvenir cigarette cards


Price: £10.00


The firm of R. and J. Hill Cigarettes was established in the Hackney district of London on Shoreditch High Street in 1785. They issued many sets of cards in the twentieth century including two versions of this Crystal Palace set. The pictures and the text on the reverse are the same but one set has a matt front and the other varnished. The cards were issued with their product, Sunripe & Spinet Oval Cigarettes.

The matt front version was issued in 1936. Size 66 x 37mm. The cards were issued following the disastrous fire in November 1936 which destroyed this famous London landmark and the informative text on the reverse tells us that although the fire was attended by sixty-five fire engines and six hundred firemen they could not save the building.

These are some odd matt-front cards from the full set of 40. The set was issued in a varnish front version in 1937 following the 1936 fire.

Unfortunately, we only have 12 cards still available.
These are:
21 - Fireworks
22 - Christmas entertainment
25 - Blondin
29 - Dr. Carver's rifle shooting
31- The Pneumatic Railway
34 - Festival of Empire
35 - Football at the Palace 1911
36 - Band competitions
37 - The great towers
38 - Aerial view of the 30 November 1936 fire
39 - Palace destroyed by fire
40 - Remains of the Crystal Palace 

The cards include pictures of the extraordinary building designed by Sir Joseph Paxton which was erected in Hyde Park. The wonderful glass structure, nicknamed the ‘Crystal Palace’, was home to the Great Exhibition of 1851 which showcased exhibits from around the world as well as British manufacturing talent and a host of entertainment. Following the success of this Exhibition when it was over the decision was taken to move the building from Hyde Park to land at Sydenham and it was re-erected there in 1852 where it became a place of entertainment where people visited to view displays, listen to concerts, watch fire-works or football etc. This cards picture in black and white interesting rooms, some of the entertainments, foreign visitors and some of the ups and downs of its long history. There is plenty of information on the card backs making these a worthy souvenir.