Origin of the trade card collection
Trading cards and chromolithographic advertising cards (we talk about chromos
on the Continent) were manufactured in the 19th Century and early 20th Century.
The collections of chromos, these images so pretty, sometimes funny or very didactic, are richer in meaning than we usually think. Advertising became a powerful sales tool. The 19th century was a time of technological developments. New products were introduced, the cards reflected the quality of the products. If it was in vogue, chances were it would be advertised on a trade card!
The world of prints published in chromolithography is major. Thousands of trade cards were issued over the world. In the Netherlands and Belgium collectors collects a certain brand and collectors always strive to make their collection as complete as possible. The catalogs of different brands provide an important reference. In France collectors collects mostly thematic. The subjects are infinitely different. An example of the different themes: children, topography, history, children's games, dolls, plants, animals, billiard, sports, football, etc.
Trade card collection began over 100 years ago, today's strong interest in trade cards began relatively recently. Collections can be based on companies such as " Liebig " or subjects (for example, chess). Different categories are shown and mentioned here. Many chromolithographic trade cards were issued in sets of 6 cards and meant to be collected by children, piece by piece.
While trade cards really didn't have many avid collectors until the 1960s or so, there are many collectors today who regularly buy, sell, and trade these cards at ephemera fairs and through online venues. Many of these cards can still be purchased for just a euro or two making it an affordable option for collecting.