Card of the Day - 2023-01-30

Olleschau bookmark
Olleschau [trade : O/S] "Bookmark"

This is rather an intriguing item, and you may think it only borderline cartophilic, especially as the company that issued it did not make cigarettes, only cigarette papers in which you could "roll your own". However we know that in the 1930s this company did also issue very thin, papery cards, showing scenes of places, so far we have found "Austria", "France and Monaco", and "Germany", and they also produced special albums in which the "cards" would be stiuck, these were hardback, like photo albums, and had a rope tie fixing them together.

Now Olleschau is actually the German name of this little town in the Czech Republic. And today the largest company, and biggest employer, is still the cigarette paper factory which was founded in 1862.

I have already had quite a bit of response about this set. Apparently all the German
catalogues give the company as being sited in Vienna. Several collectors were therefore quite intrigued that we had managed to find the town of Olleschau. The problem seems to be that this is one of the borderlands which changed hands between the neighbouring countries on a regular basis, and was often renamed as a result. It also does not help that the address was never given on their packagings, which seems odd from an advertising point of view. However some cards do mention the company of Altesse, in Vienna, and we have been supplied with a link to  their history-page. There is also a thought that Olleschau may have been a brand name used by Altesse. 

Returning to the bookmarks, if you look at the bottom they say "Lesezeichen" which translates literally to "read mark" and therefore book mark. 

We also know that there are at least a thousand different ones, so the list I thought I would make has been shelved. Quite a lot of them can be seen online though, at various European internet auctions, and at

Now the connection with our theme of the week is that this item shows Alexander Pope. He was born in London in 1688, and in 1719 he moved to Twickenham - which is the site of that England vs Scotland match. Now when he got to Twickenham he set about changing the landscape of his garden in many ways, even adding an underground grotto. The Villa became known as Pope`s Villa, and it was a bit of a tourist attraction.

However, in the early 1800s another person bought the house and, as most people do, even to this day, she tore everything out, put it in a skip, and started again. This was the Baroness Howe of Langar, and she also decided to demolish the famous Villa and had a mock Tudor house built instead. Now, we must not be too unkind, because she decided to keep the grotto, and that still exists today. It is also sometimes open to the public, but the house is now a school so visiting is limited.