Card Sizes

‘Pinnace’ cards were released in three sizes: the small KF cards featured in this blog…
KF112Brown Oval back
KF400Black Oval back
KF?388Double Frame Line back
KF?827 – 1-940, Address “Photo” back
KF?63 – 941-1109, Address “Photo” back
KF?836 – 1-940, Address “Pinnace” back
KF?1514 – 941-2462, Address “Pinnace” back
(see HERE for examples of all of these types)

0008   Photo back

…the larger (approximately 60mm x 80mm) LF cards of which there were three types…
LF?400Oval Design back
LF?1100Oblong Frame Address: “Photo” back – the rarest issue?
LF?2462Address: “Pinnace” back1920 PINNACE LF Smith1921 PINNACE LF 758 Walter Bristol Rovers1921 PINNACE LF 1537 Wadsworth…and the postcard-sized plain backed “Cabinet” PF2462 (Premium Issue) cards.The small cards are very easy to track down, albeit not all of them; the medium ones are far harder to locate, and the “Cabinet” cards are like hen’s teeth – nigh on impossible to find, especially if you are looking for specific teams (like I am!)

The backs of the KF cards all tell us that in exchange for 25 of them you would receive a “Cabinet photo” of one of the series of footballers and cricketers. or for 100 you could trade up for a League Team group, although no size was specified and I know that these are very much the Holy Grail of ‘Pinnace’ collectors.

In August 2016 a large framed display of WBA LF cards (see below) went to auction in Birmingham and the surrounding text on this confirmed that you could also get these cards in boxes of 50 and 100 backs of those cards state that you could also exchange them too for a “Cabinet sized photograph” – five were needed for the deal – which clearly confirms that the big postcard-sized item was indeed the “Cabinet” issue. And just for the sake of completeness, these very large PF cards have a blank back.

So anyway, what’s the difference between the three, other than the size? Well, if you look closely at the three Billy Smith cards that I have presented you will see that there is clearly more detail the bigger the cards become, so that by the time we reach the biggest photograph we can see his hands and arms folded. In other examples this meant that the club badge – if worn – was more clearly visible.

UPDATE: Where did the LF cards come from?

I’ve been in touch with card authority Derek Jenkins about this, and here is his response…

“An attempt to answer your query – it is amazing that, with all the cards identified with The Pinnace Series (whether so identified correctly or not) there is so little information available. Anyway, here goes:  I think that the Medium Sized (LF) were issued with boxes of cigarettes being one for a box of 25 and two for a box of 50.   There may have been a box of 100 but I cannot confirm this*.   I can confirm that I have a 25 box and it is labelled “Pinnace”. You have to remember that cigarettes between the wars were relatively cheap and it would not be uncommon for a Middle Class gentleman to have an opened box on a table in his house to which a visitor or any member of the household could help himself.”

*I have since discovered that there were indeed boxes of 50 and 100 (see framed item photograph above)

So, nobody really knows. Theories will abound forever until proof positive arrives and that may be a long time coming!


21 Responses to Card Sizes

  1. Brian Houghton says:

    I have 5 medium & 4 postcard size Manchester city, by the way do you have a copy of ” Half Time”? It’s the bible for football cigarette card collectors. Like your site by the way, thanks for sharing.

    • TerriersFan says:

      Yes, Brian, I do have that book. It’s invaluable although the pictures are of a very poor quality. It is very useful to me as it lists many of the Town players in the various series of cigarette cards. Shame that the trade cards are not included there; you have to buy the several hard-to-get Trade Directory Indexes (Indices??) for those.

    • Brian
      Can you please give me the numbers of your cards, for the large whether black oval, Pinnace or address

  2. I have been a collector of Pinnace cards for a number of years now and have a large collrction of all sizes, I have an excel spreadsheet of all the cards I know of if anyone is interested, I would also like to populate it further if anyone has cards not listed. As far as I am aware there are 4608 k size cards (backs & variations), 2062 medium size cards & 1499 Postcard size, I also have 2 teams (Fulham & Chelsea), I would look forward to receiving comment, my email address is

  3. Brian Houghton says:

    Nice collection William !

  4. I also have a listing made by E.C.Wharton-Tiger, which covers both football & cricket, it has contributions by F.H.Pitts, F.Easson, C.Duge, J.Storton & C.Marsden, anyone know these guys, as it was done 44 years ago they may not be around.

  5. Neil_the_wire says:

    Anyone know where the medium size cards originate? Obviously the cabinet ones are trade ups, and the K-sized ones came with the cigs, but larger packs just had 2 k-sized I thought.

  6. Alan Worthington says:

    The medium size cards were given in exchange for the k sized ones (25 I think). The reason (I believe) that the k size rugby are hard to find is that they were readily swapped to get the medium ones which they seem to be in abundance!

    • TerriersFan says:

      Well, that’s what I thought initially, Alan, but the K-sized cards say 25 cards can be swapped for a Cabinet card of any of the PLAYERS of the series; for 100 cards you could get a cabinet card of one of the TEAMS.

  7. Alan Worthington says:

    The medium size cards were given in exchange for the k sized ones (100 I think) sorry not 25

  8. I wonder if G. Phillips did the 50 boxes of cigarettes, maybe they were in those??

    • Neil_the_wire says:

      That would make sense: medium sized cards can be said to be worth 5 times a l-sized, given the trade up required for a cabinet (25 k-sized, or 5 medium); so a medium in a packet of 50 makes sense if you got a k-sized in a packet of 10 (and 2 k-sized in a packet of 20).

  9. Brian Houghton says:

    i was told that the medium cards were given away in boxes of 50 cigarettes.

  10. TerriersFan says:

    Derek Jenkins has got back to me on this – I’ll post his response above as an update. 😉

  11. ChrisL says:

    How many different backs are there on the medium cards? Is it the same amount as for the little ones?

    • TerriersFan says:

      Good question, Chris. As far as I am aware there are only TWO varieties of medium backs: the black oval design and the Address “Pinnace” Photos one. If there are brown oval ones I’ve never seen one yet.

  12. Chris,
    I know of three Medium backs, as above Black Oval, Pinnace Plus “Address” only with no Pinnace

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