An Early 20thC Advertising Sign for 'Will's Gold Flake Cigarettes'


Origin: English
Period: Early Twentieth Century
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1910
Height: 12 inches
Width: 18.5 inches

A large double-sided white enamelled sign, boldly lettered in red and black on each side, and with its original iron fixing bracket.  In overall good condition for its type, with a few knocks and some tarnish at the extremities, but otherwise quite clean and bright.

Will’s Cigarettes was founded in Bristol in 1786, as tobacco importers, and in 1871 they created their first brand, “Bristol”, which lasted until 1974. In 1901 they merged with seven other British tobacco firms and created “Imperial Tobacco”, which exists today as one of the largest tobacco companies in the world. “Gold Flake” is, strictly speaking, not a brand name, but refers to cigarettes made with golden yellow tobacco, and is widely used to market cigarettes sold in India today.

This sign represents a golden era where tobacco advertising was enormously prevalent, and is a great piece of advertising and tobacco history.