Arms and Flags Series

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Arms and Flags series


This is a large series of trade cards, showing the arms and flags of countries. The series is not dated, but based on the images on the cards, as well as the names of countries, can be dated as <1910. The series was printed in Holland, but the printer, nor the designer is known. The design was, however, also used in the UK on postcards and cigarette cards.Series information :

  • Date of issue : 1910s ? (approx.)
  • Number of cards : 20 - 80+ (depending on company), some of the series are numbered and all numbered series indicate that 72 country cards were issued. In the EFA postcards, some flags were also issued separately, increasing the number over 80 cards.
  • Image variants : none, but many colour variations in the background of the design


Trade Cards

Van Dijk

Van Dijk's was a company based in Haarlem (Schoten), the Netherlands, producing 'beschuit', a type of Dutch toast.

The cards are not numbered and have no text on the reverse. I have no information how many cards were issued.


Honig is a Dutch company producing soups, sauces, starches etc. The company was founded in 1867 in Koog aan de Zaan and produced initially starch and starch products, such as pudding powder (custard). From 1920 onwards the company also produced soups, sauces and similar. in 1978 the company was sold to CSM and since 2001 it is a brand of HJ Heinz.

The cards are not numbered. I have no information how many cards were issued.

Kraepelien & Holm

Kraepelien & Holm was a company based in Zeist, the Netherlands, producing (semi-)pharmaceutical products. According to the cards the company produced asthma-cigarettes, cough- and other pastilles, cocoa surrogates and similar items. At present a company with the same name is based in Oosterwolde, the Netherlands, producing liquorice.

There are a lot of variations known in colour design for Kraepelien & Holm. In addition to this, the cards have been issued with two different backs, resulting in a large number of variations in this series. The series had 72 cards.

All cards, including colour variations:


Neelmeijer's was an ink and glue producing company from Apeldoorn, the Netherlands. The cards are not numbered. The company issued 2 series, one with a bluish back and the front text Neelmeijer & Co z.o. and one with a black text on the back with on the front Neelmeijer & Co Apeldoorn. The first series has 72 cards, the second states it only has 65 cards. I have no idea which cards were missing in series 2, as I do not have the series complete.

Both have been issued in different colour shades, when known these are shown below.

Two different backs are known :

Series 1

Series 2:


Smith was a coffee an tea importer from Groningen, the Netherlands. The series has 72 cards.



These series were issued by EFA (the Excelsior Fine Art Company) for the UK market. The postage are stated in pence. The cards were printed in Holland though.

Besides the cards with the similar design as the trade cards (shown above), there are also some cards showing only the flags.

Flags only:

Spit & De Vletter

Spit & De Vletter was a company from Gouda, Holland. The company (founded in 1866) produced mainly all kinds of ropes, from curtains to fishing rods and nets. The cards were used to send to clients for setting the time for an appointment with a representative of the company.

Cigarette (tobacco) cards

James & Co

James & Co was a cigarette company based in Birmingham, UK. Only 20 countries were issued in this series.

A modern reprint series has been published in a larger size.

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