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Wills’s Cigarette Cards – Musical Celebrities (Series 1)

May 2022

W.D. and H.O. Wills was one of the first British companies to mass produce cigarettes and to introduce cigarette cards to their packets.  Like Liebig cards (see our Exhibitions of the Month in March 2021April 2021November 2021 and March 2022) they embraced a large number of subjects.  Among them were two sets of musical celebrities, the first of which we show below.  This set was published in 1911, each card numbered.  With a few exceptions, the number followed the year of the celebrity’s birth.  The back of each card showed a brief summary of the life of the subject; we show the back of the Jenny Lind card as an example.