Mint, sealed (cards, not box) double deck of gorgeous 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. The World Web Playing Card Museum indicates that the cards were made by Carta Mundi, and I have accepted that attribution, but there is nothing on the box or cards 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 pictures in this listing are from an open set of the cards, but in the set for sale, the cards are mint and sealed.
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 and sealed. The box is “as new.”
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