I’ve been holding off on this post assuming that the new owner might be wanting to show it off in one of the monthly pick-up threads. I haven’t seen anything so here I go…
A few weeks back I surf’d across the below pictured Gravely & Miller “Our Navy” album on eBay. It literally stopped me right in my tracks. A Gravely & Miller Album? I have never heard of an album issued by Gravely & Miller. Possibly a new find? Could it be chalk full of images from the highly sought after, rotund, Fancy Playing Cards series? Oh wait…Our Navy…probably not.
So my fact-finding began. I pulled out my ACC and flipped through the “A” Tobacco Albums section. A&G, Duke, Goodwin, Kimball and so on. No Gravely & Miller listed. Interestingly enough, Allen & Ginter did publish an album titled “Our Navy” (designated as A22). In the preamble of the Tobacco Album section there is a reference to “See also non-insert albums in Section 4”. Ah, I thought to myself, this must be where it’s listed since G&M never published a navy ship tobacco card series. So I find the non-insert albums section (categorized as G150-G159), but once again no Gravely & Miller listed.
Hmmm. Ok, so I put away my ACC. Time to utilize my on-line resources. First stop was the Net54 Tobacco Album gallery. Nothing. How about a Net54 thread search? Nothing. Todd’s site? Nothing. Google? Nada.
I then decided to make contact with the seller. From the pictures I couldn’t figure out if the album was 100% intact, all pages attached to the binding, etc. The seller responded “All pages are intact. It’s a single sheet, folded. All images on one side, and attached at one end as is typical with 1800s view books”. Huh? Maybe with view books but not with tobacco albums. I decided not to place a bid and watched the listing close for $233.
So what’s your take? Unlisted tobacco card “A” series album, unlisted “G” series non-insert album, typical Victorian era view book, or other?
Quick thoughts on your question.
Pure tobacco albums can be considered to be where they contain the same pictures as depicted on actual cards. Allen and Gunter flags, Kinney animals, Buchner Defenders and Offenders, etc. secondary to that are non-card albums issued by these same tobacco companies. Allen & Ginter Napoleon and Our Navy would be examples. Since they are closely related it appears as though Jefferson Burdick decided to include them in his list. Then there are other albums with similar themes at the same time but produced by companies that did not produce cards. The Poker Album is a good example. I suppose this is also an example of the other category.
Not being catalogued by Burdick is a shame but all these albums are interesting and beautifully produced in my opinion. Just don't get into a bidding war with someone who thinks it's an uncataloged tobacco album.