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THE BELL CIGAR Company of Canada
In late 2019, I was fortunate enough to come across some very rare Victorian trade cards that feature the sport of Lacrosse. It was a set of 3 that all featured the sport in action -- but portrayed the game in a humorous way. These cards were produced as a method of advertising for the BELL CIGAR COMPANY of Canada. The one example below holds the caption of "Where's the Ball". Each one of the three contain artwork by famed Canadian lithographer J. Fraser Stuart of Montreal. The back of each card simply lists the precise location of the Bell Cigar company of 209 & 211 Union Street, ST. John NB. Given the time period that the tobacco company operated in as well as the period when the lithographer practiced, these cards date to between 1880-1905, however, the ephemera collector that I purchased them from seemed to be more precise with the dating and believed that they date to 1887. Over the many years that I have been collecting, I have seen only a handful of additional examples - most were also illustrated by J. Fraser Stuart.