A Treasure Trove of Original Allen & Ginter cards from 1887! (Part 1)

Not all that long ago, I made an eBay purchase of a lot of 1887 Allen & Ginter Flags of All Nations cards.  This is one (of two) original Allen & Ginter sets that I'm currently attempting to build (the other being the 1888 Allen & Ginter City Flags set).  

In total, the Flags of All Nations set contains 58 cards (counting the various variations).  Thanks to this one eBay purchase, I was able to land 12 new cards for my collection (good for 20.9% of the set)!  


A number of the cards in this set come with two versions - usually a "plain background" and a "fancy background."  This card of France is an example of a "fancy background" variation.  I can't be sure, but it seems like the plain background versions are actually rarer than the fancy backgrounds, at least that seems to be how my want list is shaping up!

Hawaiian Islands:

I love the birds on this one, makes the Hawaiian Islands feel all that much more magical!  I'm guessing for most people in 1887, Hawaii was a magical, almost mythical place since travel was so arduous!


Another country with two versions, this one being the "fancy background" variation once again.  You can probably tell from this card (and many of the others in today's post) that I don't care much about the overall condition of the card.  I'm a set collector at heart and I'd much rather have the full set for not as much money than have a small chunk of a set but have those particular cards grade high.  Also, who cares about card grades anyway, we are talking about cards that are 134 years old!!


Japan is on my list of countries I'd like to visit someday.  I'm not big on crowds though, so I'm guessing there's a lot of Japan that would make me quite uncomfortable (I envision Japan as being chronically crowded, perhaps I'm wrong about that).  Still, someday I'll get there.  Maybe.


One of the nicer card fronts from the lot I bought, this card of Peru is quite beautiful.  I'm constantly amazed at how great the original Allen & Ginter cards look over 130 years after they were printed.  

Royal Standard of Great Britain:

This is another card with two variations, but this one is a little different in that the variation is the color of the sun.  There's a yellow version of the sun (shown here) and a gold version of the sun (which I also own).  In fact, this is the only country flag card in the set where I own both variations!

That'll do it for today's post.  I'll show off the other half of what I landed in a future post - my poor scanner can only handle so many scans in a day (and I think I may have worn it out with all the scanning I did for yesterday's post)!


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  2. Love the Hawaii card. Just picked up a copy for myself as I like all the stuff hat shows Hawaii as an independent country. I've been trying and failing to figure out what kind of birds they are though.

    1. I'm not totally sure about what kind of birds they are either. Closest I could find was a House Finch.

  3. These all look pretty good, condition-wise. Are you collecting full sets of both variations, or just one set with mixed cards?

    1. I'm attempting to get one of each card front. There are different versions of the back of the card as well, from what I can tell at least. I'm not worrying about those.


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