Period: Early Twentieth Century
Height: 17 inches
Length: 22 inches
An original chromolithographed poster, the text “Will’s Star Cigarettes” above a large inset view of a pastoral scene, depicting a hillside village, with a river and rowing boats in the foreground, hills and forest behind.
On each side of the scene is an illustration of a box of the cigarettes, with the cost, “10 for 4d” beneath, and below the scene is the text “Will’s for Quality. W.D. and H.O Wills”. The statement “Issued by the Imperial Tobacco Co. (of Great Britain and Ireland) Limited, appears in small print right at the lower edge, and the printed reference “5672“ appears at the lower left corner .
The poster is glazed and framed in its original wooden frame, into which is carved “Will’s for Quality” at the lower edge. The poster itself is in very good condition, with no apparent tears, repairs, creases or spots, and the frame is in good condition, though there is some loss to the finish at the right hand side.
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. The ‘Star’ brand was a popular brand, continued production until 1954, and was widely advertised on large red and white enamelled signs for display outside shops, as well as decorative posters like this one, for display inside them.