Sunday, 10 January 2016

A. & J. Donaldson - DON-060-1/DOZ-1-1 Sports Favourites (05) - A Specialised Checklist


1948
DON-060-1/DOZ-1-1 Sports Favourites
A. & J. Donaldson
534 cards

A & J Donaldson Sports Favourites: A Specialised Checklist
by Bob Peden


Part 1 : Back Types

Introduction:

A major frustration for buyers of Sports Favourites who want to go beyond the simple one-of-each-number stage is that the range of variations of back type, board type, colours on fronts, and so on is so vast as to discourage even the most enthusiastic of collectors. Fortunately I’m obsessive enough to have persevered over ten years of collecting to the stage where I believe I have a fairly accurate picture of which variations do, or may, exist for the backs of the cards. So I’m offering this analysis in the hope that buyers and sellers of these fascinating cards can be confident they know which variety of a given card is for sale.

What I’m offering is:
· A picture of each type of back
· A close-up of the key identifiers for each type
· A list of which back types exist for each Sports Favourite card

Major varieties of back layout:

The Sports Favourites began with caricatures with large heads (always referred to as Big Heads) before switching to ones with small heads (the Wee Heads). But it is important to know that, in the “middle period” when Donaldsons moved from Big Heads to Wee Heads, both styles appeared in the same printing sheets and shared some of the back types. These part sheets are in Type 8 layout:


The Sports Favourites appeared at first with no mention of publisher, but the production by a rival firm of a ‘bootleg’ series led to this being shown, and in due course Donaldsons also added ‘Copyright’ to the text. These changes allow a rough order of ‘back types’ to be established and this can be further refined by identifying key dates in the careers of certain footballers and other sportsmen, particularly when they changed clubs. [Note – Drawings, with the strip of the current club, would be made weeks or months before change of club]
The best estimate for dates of issue would seem to be from autumn 1946 for the first Big Heads (Type 1, Type 2) through early 1948 for the first Wee Heads (Type 6) to late 1948 - early 1949 for the last regular Wee Heads (Type 13).
The Golden Series, using a completely new design, was issued in two groups between late 1950 and early 1951, and the last Wee Heads (Type 14), in similar design and never officially put on sale, appeared in mid-1951.

Identification:

To identify which of the first 13 layouts the back of a given card has, study the details (or lack of) at the foot of the card:

No publisher details, no copyright:



Publisher details but no copyright:


Both publisher details and copyright:


Major varieties of board:

Postwar paper shortages and serious competition during Glasgow’s “card wars” meant that thickness and colour of board used for a given printing varied enormously and would be impossible to document. However two types of board are very distinctive – Type thg, used for Type 6 and Type 7, is very thick, coarse and greyish, and Type brn, used for some Type 12, is of good quality with a distinctly brownish colour.


Colour of back:

Most cards were printed with black backs, but sometimes blue was used. Robert Muat points out that changing the colour of ink in the hot metal printing machines would have added to production costs.
Types which exist with blue backs are: Type 4 (BH), Type 7 (WH), Type 8 (BH/WH), Type 9 (WH), Type 11 (WH), Type 12brn (WH).

List of varieties which do (or may) exist:

Introduction:

Although the first three sets of Big Heads seem to have appeared in numerical order, from then on each new printing plate (of 32 cards as standard) contained a mixture of old and new cards with non-consecutive numbers within a limited range – this, of course, being part of the system for persuading children to part with their pennies in pursuit of completion. And if the plates were sent to a new printer for reprinting, new layouts of the backs were created, sometimes with updates of the player details, and different typefaces.


Type 6 part sheet with mixed Wee Heads and Big Heads


Type 8 part sheet mixed Wee Heads and Big Heads


Type 8 part sheet Wee Heads


Patterns of back types:

Given the non-sequential numbering used, listing the cards in numerical order makes it very difficult to see which cards were printed with which back types. This is particularly the case for Wee Heads from 91 to 181. At this stage Big Heads were being put together with Wee Heads on the printing plates, so they appeared in new back types (6, 8, 12brn).

The list below shows which numbers appeared with which back types:

BH Type 1 and Type 2 reprinted as Type 3, Type 5, Type 12brn
1-6, 22-30 (= 15)

BH Type 1 and Type 2 reprinted as Type 3, Type 5, Type 8
7-21 (= 15)

BH Type 2 reprinted as Type 5, Type 6 & 6thg
31-42 (= 12)

BH Type 2 reprinted as Type 5, Type 8, Type 12brn
43-54 (= 12)

BH Type 4 only
61-90 (= 30)

BH Type 5 reprinted as BH Type 6 & 6thg, Type 8, Type 12brn 
55-60 (= 6)

WH Type 6 & 6thg (no Copyright) reprinted as Type 9 (Copyright) (black, blue)
91, 92, 94, 97, 100, 103, 104, 106, 109, 112, 115, 118, 121, 122, 124, 127 (Design 1), 130, 133, 136, 139, 142, 145, 146, 148, 151, 154, 157, 160, 161, 164, 167, 170, 173, 181 (= 34)

WH Type 7 (no Copyright) (black, blue) reprinted as Type 8 (no Copyright) (black, blue) & Type 10 (Copyright)
93, 95, 96, 98, 99, 101, 105, 107, 108, 111, 113, 114, 116, 119, 120, 123, 126, 128, 129, 132, 134, 135, 138, 141 [Possibly also 140, 143, 147, 150, 152, 155, 156, 162]  (=24 +8? = 32?)

WH Type 8 (no Copyright) reprinted as WH Type 10 (Copyright)
201, 203, 208, 209, 213, 215, 217, 218, 222, 223, 225, 226, 228, 231, 233, 235, 238, 240, 242, 245, 246, 247; 262-276; 302, 303, 304, 305, 311, 312, 315, (= 45)

WH Type 9 only (black, blue) (Copyright)
206, 207, 211, 212, 214, 216, 219, 221, 224, 227, 229, 232, 234, 236, 237, 239, 241, 243, 244, 248 (= 20)

WH Type 10 only (Copyright)
350-358a, 359-363a, 364b-371; 408a, 426-441 (= 39)

WH Type 11 only (black, blue) (Copyright)
1, 7, 12, 14, 19, 21, 23, 26, 28, 35, 55, 57; 204; 249; 316, 317, 334; 402, 407, 408b, 409, 410, 414, 415, 417, 418, 420, 421, 422, 423, 424, 425 (= 32)

WH Type 12 only (Copyright)
187, 188, 189, 191-199, 202, 205, 210, 220, 230; 250-261; 300, 301, 306, 307-309, 310; 313, 314, 318-329, 330a, 330b, 331, 332, 333; 400, 401, 403, 404, 405, 411, 412, 413, 416, 419 (=64); 471-502 (= 32) (Total = 96)

WH Type 12 & 12brn (black, blue) (Copyright)
102, 110, 117, 125, 131, 137, 144, 149, 153, 158, 159, 163, 165, 166, 168, 169, 171, 172, 174-180, 182-6, 190, 200 (= 32)

WH Type 13 only (Copyright)
3, 6, 9, 13, 15, 18, 22, 24, 25, 29, 34, 37, 40; 64, 70, 78, 79, 80, 83, 87 [seen printed with numbers in 389-396, 451-470 ranges] (= 20); 127 (Design 2) (= 1); 335-349 (Cricket = 15); 358b (Boxing = 1); 363b, 364a; 372-399 (= 19); 442-449 (Speedway = 8); 451—470 (= 20) (Total = 84)

WH Type 14 only (Copyright)
503-534 (= 32)

Scarcity:

After ten years of collecting, the scarcest back types (based on percentage of cards which should exist and have been seen) are:

Big Heads Types 2 (23% seen) and 3 (50%)
Wee Heads Types 7 black (25%), 7 blue (16%), 7 thg (41%) and 14 (47%).

Checklist in numerical order:

The Sports Favourites cards have always been listed separately as Big Heads and Wee Heads and this convention is followed here. As Abe Donaldson persuaded John Barr to abandon Big Head designs in favour of Wee Heads, it was eventually decided to re-issue cards no. 1-90 as Wee Heads (on the same printing plates as the T13 high numbers), but the sequence was not completed.
The list that follows is based on my own collection together with an analysis of patterns of numbers for each back type.
B = blue, ? = not seen but should exist; ?? = might exist



On these double-number Speedway cards the team is listed as Glasgow Giants but should be Ashfield Giants (who were the rump of Newcastle Giants, based in Glasgow from early 1949):
50 (471), 53 (474), 56 (477), 57 (478), 58 (479), 60 (481), 63 (484)
Riders shown as Glasgow were with Glasgow Tigers.

The part sheets used as illustrations above were photographed from the John Barr archive collection held by Glasgow Museums. Permission to use them was sought in December 2015 but no reply has so far been received.


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