Tobacco Artwork Auctioned For £20,000

Artwork from Players has made over £20,000 at a Nottingham auction, including ‘corporate art’ showing children with cigarettes.

The items were kept by Imperial Tobacco in Nottingham and were never used for public display.

The most successful cigarette artwork in the sale was a painting of a cricket to promote tobacco cigarettes, which earned £3,550.

Horizon factory, owned by the firm, closed in 2016, and 115 cigarette artefacts went up for sale in Nottingham as a result, generating over £20,000.

Paintings showing children holding cigarettes and people happily smoking were created long before heath risks were known and related to tobacco.

In the 1930s, the factory in Radford, Nottinghamshire, used to make more than a million cigarettes every day and had 7000 employees. It closed in 2016, with 500 people losing their jobs.

“Some of the bidders for the more iconic lots are located in Nottinghamshire so it’s great to see that they’re staying local,” said a spokesperson for John Pye & Son.

“In the next couple of months we’ll be holding another sale to auction off the plant & machinery and tooling from the site.”

The history of cigarette advertising is a long and controversial one, and cigarette packaging is now completely plain and advertising is banned.

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