Card of the Day - 2024-05-14

Salem Goldfilm
Salem Cigarettenfabrik, G.m.b.H [tobacco : O/S : Germany - Dresden] "Salem Goldfilm" (1934) 43/180 - SO33-800.1 : S14-12.1 : X24/9.1.a.D

Here we have Emil Jannings, who was not only the first recipient of the Best Actor category, but the first to ever receive a statuette, because it was presented to him in advance of the ceremony, before he left America, where he had been staying, for his homeland.

He was born in Switzerland to a German mother and an American father, and christened Theodor Friedrich Emil Janenz, but he regarded himself as a German actor. As such, he is the only German ever to win the Best Actor category. His win was for two roles, "The Way of All Flesh" (1927) and "The Last Command" (1928).

He died in 1950, aged sixty-five. 

This set is called "Goldfilm" because of the gold square that forms the backdrop to the film star`s head. It first appears in our original World Tobacco Issues Index as : -

SALEM GOLDFILM (Salem Goldfilm Series) Sm. 60 x 40. See X.24/9.D ... S14-12
1. "Serie 1". Nd. 1/180
2. "Serie 2". Nd. 181/450 (270)

This is repeated in our updated version, but without the X.24 reference, because that links to the original Handbook, which was either a separate volume (for the first edition) or re-printed in the back of the original World Tobacco Issues Index.

Now the "X" numbers are in the handbook, and "X.24" is a separate section devoted to German Language Issues. The text there reads :

X24/9. GOLDFILM SERIES. Small size, 60 x 40 m/m. Coloured pictures of Film Stars with gold background. Two series :-
1. "Serie 1". Numbered 1/180
2. "Serie 2". Numbered 181/450.

(a) German Language backs
A. Bulgaria. Titled "Bulgaria Goldfilm". (1) known. [Bulgaria Zigarettenfabrik, Dresden]
B. Constantin. Titled "Constantin Goldfilm". (1) and (2) known. [Constantin Zigarettenfabrik, Hannover and Dresden, but this set only issued through Dresden]
C. Delta. Titled "Deutschmeister Goldfilm". (2) known. [Zigarettenfabrik "Delta" G.m.b.H, Dresden]
D. Salem. Titled "Salem Goldfilm". (1) and (2) known. [Salem Zigarettenfabrik G.b.m.H, Dresden]

(b) Dutch Language backs
      M. Batschari. Titled "Mercedes Goudfilm". (1) known.

I find it fascinating that all the German sets were issued out of Dresden. And it turns out that the Dutch language set also has a German connection, because M. Batschari turns out not just to be N.V.A. Batschari`s Sigarettenfabrik den Haag, Holland, but a Dutch associate of A. Batschari Cigarettenfabrik of Baden-Baden, Germany, who also used the brand "Mercedes" for their own issued "Film Photo Series". In fact, though they issued only the first series, they did so in two versions, the standard size, and as double uncut pairs, which, oddly, seem to follow no pattern as to which cards were printed together.

We now also know, thanks to several readers, that this set was issued in Germany by another issuer, Baltic, and by Fernando Fuentes in the Canary Islands, though I am not quite sure about that as these are the cards with the gold border that we featured earlier (on the 9th of February, in our newsletter 2024-02-03) and they show 1950s stars not 1930s ones. It can also be found in trade card collections, though, the easiest to acquire being a plain backed  version by De Beaukaeler biscuits, but also by Avis of Egypt, Chocolat La Cigogne of France, Danmarks of Denmark (as "Guld Films Billeder"), and Ebe and Einar Ahlström of Sweden.