Tea trade cards depicting world bank notes extends the fun of the hobby for a paper money collector

Collecting Paper column from the May 26, 2014, issue of Coin World
By , Special to Coin World
Published : 05/09/14
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Almost every collector who has a bad case of the “disease” collects a number of different things.

I currently collect Midwestern obsolete notes, certain Confederate States of America notes, and a smattering of world notes that strike my fancy.

But then, well, there are some other things.

I also collect World War II German lottery tickets and winter welfare program notes, Indianapolis post cards, and German states taler and fractional taler coins that have city views.

You get the idea; there are few things that I’ve run across that I don’t collect to one degree or another.

One such area is so-called “trade cards” that depict coins and paper money. First introduced when color lithography made colorful incentive premiums both cost effective and popular, these little pasteboard pieces were popular in both Europe and the United States beginning in roughly the mid-1870s.

One of my favorite series was done by the French makers of the “Herbal Tea of the Celestine Fathers.”

According to the advertisement on the back of a card in my collection, this tea was to be taken after meals and promised to cure constipation and digestion problems without causing colic. It sold for .75 franc.

As an incentive to purchase more boxes of tea, the company included a colorful trade card depicting the citizens, flag, and a bank note from one of a number of different countries in each box.

I’m not certain how many cards comprised a complete set, but I have examples from Austria-Hungary, the United States, Portugal, the Netherlands, Greece, France, Bulgaria, and Belgium.

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