Card of the Day - 2022-12-27

27 sarony around the med
Nicolas Sarony & Co [tobacco : UK] "Around The Mediterranean" - large size (June 1926) 13/50 - S111-150.B : S26-6.B : Ha.610 : RB.113/404

There is very little known about the actual St Sylvester, and even his place of birth is debated, some feel it was in France whilst others say it was in Naples, Italy. He left home at a young age and came to live in Rome, which some feel puts greater weight on his being born in Naples.

Even his name, Sylvester, is not the truth, and some believe it came from either a nickname, or from the fact that he came from the woods into the light - both in his actual journey and in his conversion to Christianity. His birth name is sometimes given as Quintus Fabius Maximus Meridius, and that is a very Roman name, another plus point for his being born in Italy. 

Our card is the large size but the set was also issued in a small size, which we featured as our Card of the Day on the 29th of March 2024. If you compare the two versions you will find out that the small cards are but a section cut off the larger ones, rather than the large pictures being reduced to fit; so on the small version of our card pretty much all of the green hills at the foreground are missing, and the top ends as soon as the smoke. Whilst the reverse of ours is a continuous text right across the card, but the smaller one has this split into two columns.

The sets first appear in our original World Issues Index as :

AROUND THE MEDITERRANEAN. Nd. (50). See Ha.610. Special Travel Book issued. 
A. Small, 68 x 39.
B. Large, 77 x 63. 

The "Special Travel Book" was just an album, but it was designed in such a way that you could conceivably make your friends believe that you had travelled around this area.

Now in our updated World Index the reference to Ha.610 is gone. Instead it cites RB.113/404, which is our updated volume on the issues of Godfrey Phillips and the companies it controlled. There is a tale behind this because Sarony really only existed as a company until 1898, though it did issue one set on the Boer War. In 1899 it had disappeared. However in 1912 it resurfaced, being advertised as tobacconists, proprietors Major Drapkin. In 1931 Major Drapkin, and its Sarony subgroup, were itself taken over by Godfrey Phillips. 

The set was also issued the same year and in the same two sizes by Major Drapkin, but as an export issue to Australia and New Zealand.