Rare 19th century tobacco wrappers up for auction

Ellis Gold Rush tobacco wrapping from the 1840s
Ellis Gold Rush tobacco wrapping from the 1840s

THREE tobacco wrappers produced by a Hastings tobacconist in the 1840s are expected to fetch up to £100 a piece at auction.

The rare Ellis Gold Rush tobacco wrappings depict the California gold rush, and are highly collectable despite not being in mint condition.

Originally produced by R Ellis Grocer, Tea Dealer and Tobacconist of High Street, Hastings, the wrappers are to be auctioned by the Somerset-based London Cigarette Card Company, on October 29.

Managing director Ian Laker said: “Something like this comes up for auction once every 30 years.”

He added that the last tobacco wrapper of a similar kind put up for auction, sold for £150, but was in better condition than the three currently on offer.

Tobacco wrappers were the forerunners to cigarette cards, which came into being in the 1880s, and as such are where the hobby of card collecting began.

For information visit www.londoncigcard.co.uk.