Double Deck “W.D. & H.O. Wills” Playing Cards, Company Bicentennial Celebration, Maker Unknown, c.1986

Mint, sealed (cards, not box) double deck of cards given as a gift to employees and pensioners of W.D. & H.O. Wills, the British tobacco company, on the occasion of the firm’s 200th anniversary in 1986. I do not know the maker of these cards – if forced to guess, I would guess they are Carta Mundi cards, but there is nothing to indicate. The set consists of a deck with silver backs and silver borders to the illustrations, and a deck with gold backs and gold borders to the illustrations. The first 3 pictures in this listing are of the actual double deck here for sale. The pictures of the faces of the cards are from an open gold deck previously sold in this shop.

Each deck has 52 cards, plus 2 Jokers, plus an insert card that describes the deck. According to that insert card, the four Aces are based upon designs of Wills “stiffeners” – cards that stiffened early Wills cigarette packs and advertised the company’s leading brands. The 48 court and pip cards are taken from a series of cigarette cards, “Kings and Queens of England,” issued by Wills in 1902. The backs are based upon a quayside scene inspired by Thackeray’s novel, “The Virginians,” a scene that was used as a pack design for Wills’ “The Three Castles” tobacco in 1877. There is no mention of the Jokers. The cards are small bridge size, measuring 87mm x 56mm, and come in the original presentation box.

As noted, the cards are mint. The box is in excellent condition, except that there is some spotting/foxing to the lid of the box.

Thanks for visiting.

Item ID: T00001790

$50 USD

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