Tiger Series

Raphael Tuck & Sons, Ltd. (London, Paris, New York)
Series dates: 1929-1934
Size: 5.25″ x 7.5″

Updated 6/28/2024

Raphael Tuck was a Prussian immigrant who, with his wife Ernestine, started a greeting card, postcard, and ephemera company in London in 1866. Tuck’s company was a leading supplier during the “postcard boom” in the 1890-1910 era. Tuck offspring, Herman, Adolph, and Gustave, eventually joined the firm and took over after Raphael died in 1900.

While focusing on postcards, greeting cards, and sundry engravings, graphics, and ephemera, Tuck did have a gift and children’s / young adult book line.

The firm experienced a severe setback when it was bombed during the Blitz (1940) destroying 80+ years of original artwork and materials. In 1959 Tuck combined with two others, to become the British Printing Corporation, renamed British Printing & Communications Corporation in 1982, and finally Maxwell Communications Corporation in 1987. The company closed in 1991.

Various Tuck postcards, images, and scrapbook decorations:

The Tiger Series is aimed at a young adult audience, as were many of Tuck’s titles. This series is rather remarkably absent from the voluminous contents of Google Books and The Internet Archive, which typically produces some evidence of the existence of a series (especially in contemporary literature periodicals). This indicates that the series was not advertised, but also not included in typical book literature (Books in Print type of sources). The latter is a bit peculiar. It’s possible that Tuck was simply not supplying this information, focused as they were on the postcard and gift market.

The six titles in the Tiger Series are not difficult to find, and the entire series is listed on the TuckDB Ephemera website. Numerous copies, many with jackets, can be found on used book sites. Alas, only 11 copies of the series titles can be found on WorldCat. These were simply not books libraries purchased, possibly because they were absent from the book literature librarians used to guide their purchases.

The six titles listed on the jacket shown below likely comprise the entirety of the series. This copy of The Sword of the Volsungs is #5 in the series and, as with other titles in the series, undated. Dates on the few copies of the Tiger Series books on WorldCat, I’m estimating the series dates to be 1929-1934, and this title I’d approximate to 1933 or 1934, given the publication years (1933) of two other Tuck books advertised in the back of this book (see below).

The jackets have an engaging design, with the tiger on the spine and stripes. Each title has a unique color illustration glued to the front of the jacket. The series titles are listed on the front jacket flap. There is no price indicated on the jacket.

There are 6 titles in the series. None of these books are listed under the Tiger Series name on WorldCat. I’ve included the number of libraries that hold a copy and dates if they are included. This provides a year range (1929-1934) for the series. Many of the titles are compilations of short stories.

1. Sea Scout Morrison’s Coup, and Other Tales of the Sea, by Percy Westerman (4 copies on WorldCat; one entry with 1934 date)
2. Midsummer Mystery, and Other Stories, by Ethel Talbot (0 copies on WorldCat)
3. Brave Adventure, by Alfred Miles and C. Sheridan Jones (3 copies on WorldCat under variant titles; one entry with 1929 date, one with 1932 date)
4. The Red Trail, and Other Stories, by Charles Gilson (3 copies on WorldCat, two with 1931 date)
5. The Sword of the Volsungs and Other Wondrous Deeds of Bygone Days (0 copies on WorldCat)
6. The Glowing Bird and the Grey Wolf, illustrated by C.H. Brock (1 copy on WorldCat)

The rear of the jacket and back flap with a distinctive stripe pattern:

Green cloth bindings:

Blank endpapers:

What would be the half-title page is blank:

An illustration faces the title page:

The copyright page indicates “Designed and Printed in England  Copyright” It’s odd to have an illustration on the copyright page.

A six-page catalog of Tuck titles ends the book. Bad Rhymes About Good Animals, by Cecil Trew was published in 1933.

Listings of The Modern Library for Boys and Girls, and The Raphael House Library. Both are juvenile series.

The Golden Treasury Library, and The Book of Adventure and Sport.

Nancy Owlett by Eden Phillpotts was also published in 1933, suggesting this title was published in 1933 or later.