Wills's Foreign Cities
|Heraldry of the World
Heraldic collector's items catalogue > Heraldic tobacco cards
- Series name : Arms of Foreign Cities
- Issued by: Wills's Cigarettes, UK
- Date of issue : 1912
- Number of cards : 50
- Image variants : There have been two identical printings, but not with different images
W.D. & H.O. Wills was a British Tobacco importer and cigarette manufacturer formed in Bristol, England. It was one of the founding companies of Imperial Tobacco.
The company was founded as Wills, Watkins & Co. by Henry Overton Wills I and his partner Watkins, who opened a shop in Castle Street, Bristol in 1786. After the retirement of his partner in 1789 it became “Wills & Co.”. In 1826 his two sons, William Day Wills and Henry Overton Wills II took over the company and in 1830 the company took the above name.
In 1901 Sir William Henry Wills et al formed the Imperial Tobacco company from a merger of W.D. & H.O. Wills with seven other British tobacco companies. Imperial remains one of the World's largest tobacco companies.
In 1988 Imperial Tobacco withdrew the Wills brand in the United Kingdom, but it is still sold in India where it has many brands.
The company has issued a huge number of tobacco card series, probably more than 500 in the UK alone, and several hundred series in the overseas markets. The oldest series date from around 1890 and new series were issued until the late 1930s. More than 25 series with a heraldic theme have been issued by the company. These include arms of UK boroughs, schools, bishoprics and universities, as well as arms of the British Empire, Heraldic Signs and their origins and several overseas issues. See here for all series shown on this website.
This series deals with the arms of a series of (rather arbitrarily chosen) arms of foreign cities, mainly in Europe. The reverse of the cards shows some information on the town and its history.
For all known cards see here.