London’s Murray Cards has been publishing catalogs of cigarette and trade cards annually since 1967. The company, founded by Martin Murray, was due to close at the end of 2011. According to a press release received today, the company, under new CEO Darren Epstein, will reopen as Murray Cards Ltd. from new premises in North West London in the Spring and will release an all-new and updated guide this summer.
Murray Cards (along with The London Cigarette Card Company) has been synonymous with cigarette and trade cards in the U.K. for decades. The company had operated two London area shops and also issued reprint sets of older releases. Murray exhibited on several occasions at the Philly Non-Sports Card Show, The National Sports Collectors Convention, and other shows. Murray Cards also ran their own shows for many years in the London area. Epstein was the owner of Cards Inc and the premier U.K. distributor of non-sport cards for many years in the 90s and 00s. Since then, Epstein has been involved with several other companies and has purchased other collections including Mark Macaluso’s inventory.
Today’s press release also announces the Murray’s Archive Auction, to take place later in the year. The auction will feature many rare and unusually hard-to-find cards from the 1800s to the turn-of-the-century. Included will be cards originating from the Edward Wharton Tigar Collection, which Murray purchased a portion of in the early 90s (the remainder of which resides in The British Museum).
Murray Cards Ltd CEO Darren Epstein commented “When you think of cigarette and trade cards, three names are always referenced, Jefferson Burbick, Edward Wharton Tigar and Martin Murray. It is my opinion, having been involved around the card Industry for 25 years, that the Murray Cards empire should remain in some form and the guide book should continue to be released as it has done for the past 47 years. Under this agreement we have ensured that this will happen”.
Murray will serve as an adviser to the new company. Epstein promises to keep Murray Cards customers informed by email and via the website.