Now all roads lead to France and heavy is the tread
Of the living; but the dead returning lightly dance.
Edward Thomas, Roads

Monday, October 21, 2013

War Celebrities as Collectibles

From Cyril Mazansky's Cigarette Card Collection

The celebrity culture apparently was alive and well during the Great War if this selection from the collection of regularly contributor Cyril Mazansky is any indication. Just as today, celebrities of the day were used to help sell things. Today big contracts are involved, but I have a feeling that none of the parties shown below received big endorsement contracts for helping to sell cigarettes. Some these images are excellent depictions of their subject, but in other cases—see Kaiser Wilhelm below—you have to wonder if the illustrator had ever seen a photo of the individual.

Click on Images to View Alone


  1. Excellent quality cards - Thank You.

  2. This was fascinating. Wish we still did such simple but effective advertising nowadays.
    D. Beer