1929 Wills English Period Costumes Set and Checklist

‘It’s In The Details’

Title Wills English Period Costumes
Year 1929
Size 1 3/8″ x 2 5/8″ (small) and 2 1/3″ x 3″
Images Color
Type Tobacco
Number in Set

1929 Wills English Period Costumes Overview

1929 Wills English Period Costumes GolfThis 50-card set from the UK was distributed by Wills. Issued in 1929, it features men and women in older times with a particular focus on what they were wearing.

Wills was a popular cigarette brand in the UK and, as such, issued numerous card sets. Some are entirely sports sets, others entirely non-sports sets, and some, a bit of a mix of the two.

The cards, titled ‘Wills Period Costumes,’ feature full-color art on the front with the Wills Cigarettes name. Backs include a description of the subject(s) and what they are wearing. A title for each card is noted at the bottom and includes a date of the era of the picture that is depicted. Pictures of the men and women include a wide range of generations, spanning several centuries.

The set is almost entirely a non-sports issue as most of the people featured are in all sorts of attire, both formal and informal. For that reason, most American sports card collectors (even those focusing on pre-war sets) haven’t even heard of it. However, it does include one sports card picturing a male golfer from the 1700s. The card is titled, ‘A Country Gentleman’ and the picture shows a man from 1780 with a golf club.

As these cards really focus on the outfits worn, it comes as little surprise that golf is not the primary topic on the back. Instead, while there is a bit of golf commentary at the end, the description is primarily about the clothes worn by the man pictured:

Various types of hat were worn by the men of this period, ranging from the tiny chapeaux-bras of the dandies (in size little larger than would cover the snuff-box of a beau) to the black broad-brimmed hats especially affected by sportsmen. The simi-military appearance of the costume illustrated is due partly to the doubling back of the front of the coat, and partly to the black gaiters. These, which had been worn by soldiers in the early part of this century, became generally fashionable later. Contemporary prints show that golf clubs were longer (both in shaft and head) than those of today; the golfer’s stance also was somewhat different.

Despite that, the card is still popular with sports card collectors — particularly those interested in golf issues.

As is the case with many other UK tobacco issues produced around this time, both small and large sets of this card exist. The smaller cards are a more traditional cigarette card size of approximately 1 3/8″ x 2 5/8″ while the larger ones are approximately 2 1/3″ x 3″.

Note that there are only 25 of the larger cards as not all smaller cards were produced in that size. The golf card is found only in the smaller set.

1929 Wills English Period Costumes Checklist

  1. A Lady
  2. A Spearman
  3. A Noble
  4. A Lady
  5. A Lady
  6. A Man
  7. A Jester
  8. An Official
  9. A Lady
  10. A Lady
  11. A Lady
  12. A Page
  13. A Courtier
  14. A Lady
  15. An Attendant
  16. A Courtier
  17. A Lady
  18. A Courtier
  19. Lady and Child
  20. A Courtier
  21. A Gentleman
  22. A Lady
  23. A Puritan
  24. A Puritan Woman
  25. A Lady
  26. A Gentleman
  27. A Lady
  28. A Gentleman
  29. A Painter
  30. A Lady
  31. A Lady
  32. A Lady
  33. A Court Lady
  34. A Man of Fashion
  35. A Country Gentleman (Golfer)
  36. A Gentleman
  37. A Lady
  38. A Serving Maid
  39. A Doctor
  40. A Gentleman
  41. A Gentleman
  42. A Lady
  43. A Lady
  44. A Country Gentleman
  45. A Lady
  46. A Country Gentleman
  47. A Gentleman
  48. A Lady
  49. A Lady
  50. A Man of Fashion

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