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Brownies & Elves

Canadian Palmer Cox (1840 - 1924) originated the Brownies in 1879, first in magazines such as "Wide Awake," "St. Nicholas Magazine," and "Ladies Home Journal," and later in a number of books. His Brownies were little men having adventures together, each with a distinctive physical appearance, and some found their way onto trade cards.

Various Brownie look-alikes are also found in trade cards but are usually easily distiguished from the Cox Brownies. Elves, on the other hand, date back to Norse mythology, originally imagined as a race of fertility gods with magical powers and more recently the heroes of Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings."

Some examples of trade cards showing Brownies and Elves are shown here at 25 percent of actual size. Click on a card for a larger view and a description that includes the price it brought at auction (without buyer's premium).