THE SERIES


Most collectors consider the main Ross Verlag series to include the Film Sterne cards, and the regular run from 1/1(?) to 9997/1, as well as all the A cards, which ran from A 1000/1 to A 4096/1, including those cards known as Film-Foto-Verlag.

But there were additional series of cards.

The most well known are the Ross Luxusklasse cards, more commonly referred to as Ross Luxus.   These cards are larger than the regular Ross postcards, measuring 4 1/8 by 5 6/8 inches.   They are identifiable by a gold emblem on the back of the cards (sometimes the emblems were removed).   These cards could also be color tinted.   The numbering started at #500, but I'm not sure where they ended.   Also, apparently some of the Luxus Cards were printed with regular card numbers.


Camilla Horn Ross Luxus 588

Color Luxus card Clara Bow



Marika Rökk Luxus sized regular card number


There were actually two versions of these cards.   Along with the Ross Luxus were the Ross Splendid.   The Luxus cards were black and white, while the Splendid cards had a brownish sepia tone to them.   The Luxus card was advertised as "Bromsilber, schwarz Hochglanz" and the Splendid as "Bromsilber, braun auf chamois Karton."   Many cards (I'm not sure if all) were printed in both styles.


Marlene Dietrich Ross Luxus and Ross Splendid examples



Ross Luxusklasse
emblem

Ross Splendid
emblem





The Luxus Cards also had what were referred to as TonFilm cards, which were basically song cards.   These cards printed song verses from German movie musicals, which were very popular in the early 30's.   They included a scene from the film, and sometimes musical notation.   They listed the movie title and the song title.   They were advertised as UFA-TonFilm-Schlager (sound film hits).   These cards started at #705.   Towards the end of the run, perhaps the last ten cards, they were printed in normal postcard size, without the Ross Luxus logo on them.


Luxus Song card usual format

Luxus song card in regular size postcard format








Another group of cards were known as the G Series.   These seemed to be strictly German performers.   They measured 4 1/8 by 5 7/8.   Currently, I have them running from #51 to #232, but it is possible there are more.


G 142 Ruth Buchardt





Another series were knows as the K cards.   They were advertised as "Kunstblätter" meaning "art sheets."   These were not postcards, but larger size photo portraits, similar to 8 X 10 or 5 X 9 studio publicity photos.   They came in sizes 20 x 25 cm, 20 X 30 cm, 18 x 24 cm and 15 x 20 cm.   They also came in black and white, or the sepia brown as well as gloss finish.   Although they had their own numbering systems, some of the regular Ross Verlag postcards were reprinted in this larger format, with a "K" in front of the original number.   The "K" photos are not as common as the other cards, probably because they were more expensive to purchase.   Note:   Another German postcard publisher, Photochemie had a series of movie star postcards, whose numbers all began with the letter "k".   They are not related to the Ross Verlag cards.


John Gilbert K 1208 photo.



Shirley Temple K 1345 photo.



A Lilian Harvey photo with the same size and number related to the K series, but without the K number in front of the 1308.   (Thanks to Hans Schnepper for the scan.)




Next is the W series.   They were a larger size, about 20 x 25 centimeters, or 8 X 10 inches, similar to the K Series. These photo sheets rarely show up.   I've never seen them advertised in vintage German movie magazines as the other cards were.   Some of them had printed signatures on them, while others were just the regular printed name.   Curiously, some of them were dated for Christmas Eve 1941 or 1942.   Were the photos perhaps only released at Christmas time?   Could the "W" refers to Weihnacht (German for Christmas)?   Or even have some relation to the Winterhilfswerk (Winter Relief Fund)?

Thanks to Dave Stone for providing information on this illusive series.


Irene von Meyendorff W card



This Harry Gondi art sheet is in the same format as the W series, however it has no number or series designation.   There may have been various such items produced through Ross.   Thanks to Klaas Dierks for the scan.







There was also an 800 series of regular sized postcards of American stars.   These are also hard to come by.


Clark Gable #806 series card








There is also another series of unnumbered Ross postcards of an undetermined quantity that say "Das Programm von Heute" (program of the day) on the back.   These were made of a cheaper brown paper.   These were published as part of a movie program and were inserted in slots on the front of the program.   These programs were 6 pages long and included the credits, a description of the story and photos.   They were numbered and went above 500.   The series also included American stars, and American films.   There is also a postcard album designed solely for storing these cards.


Jean Harlow Das Programm card

Printed on back of the cards.



La Jana Das Programm #357



Inside of "Das Program" #357



The cards were printed with "Ross Verlag" in many different styles, until the name disappeared off of the cards altogether, probably after the company was taken over by the National Socialists.



Similar in format to basic series

"Ross" Verlag with "Das Programm" on front also



Most common with
"Ross" Verlag up near photo

Just "Ross" with
parenthesis in photo



Ross without
parenthesis in photo

Ross-Verlag with dash



No Ross mentioned, only "Das Programm"

No mention of Ross or "Das Programm" on front






Eventually the programs were reduced in size, and instead of including a postcard with each edition, a facsimile of one was printed right on the cover!


"Postcard" printed
on cover

Inside of smaller Programm



Postcard album for Das Programm cards.

Advertisement for Das Programm








Some of the regular Ross cards were also printed without numbers.   These may have been designed to be sent to film studios and to actors to be autographed and given to fans.   In Germany, there are a large number of vintage autographed movie star postcards, and collecting them is a hobby unto itself.   Many of these autographed cards are of the numbered variety too, although these may have been signed many years later.   Postcards were also printed with facsimile autographs.


Unnumbered (and unautographed) card of opera star Fritz Soot in role "Siegried."
This was part of a series of cards of opera stars in their roles.



Unnumbered autographed card of Franz Eichberger.   Note that his name is not printed on card.

Unnumbered Andrew Engelmann autographed card.



Writer Thea von Harbou autographed unnumbered card

Director Fritz Lang autographed numbered card



Autographed card of Jewish performer, Fritz Grünbaum, who died at the Dachau concentration camp in 1941.
Thanks to Klaas Dierks for this scan.






Xenia Desni "real" autograph

Lilian Harvey "real" autograph



Xenia Desni facsimile autograph

Facsimile autograph Tom Mix full photo



Renate Müller yellow card facsimile autograph






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