John Player & Sons, often referred to simply as Player’s, was a tobacco and cigarette manufacturer based in Nottingham, England. It is therefore fitting that John Pye Auctions, founded in 1968 in the same city, dedicate an online sale to a carefully sourced selection of John Player artwork. The sale is already live, and closes on Thursday 24 May at noon.

This second John Player Collection sale features family portraits and original illustrations used in some of John Player’s most iconic advertisements. Make sure to have a look at the sale’s first lot, an original Player’s navy circular printed tin. It depicts one of the “faces” of the brand, a well-groomed and determined looking sailor. An oil portrait of John Dane Player by Frank O. Salisbury is also a must-have for fans. In it, we see the son of the founder and successful businessman stare pensively at the viewer – and into his brand’s longevity?

The auction also features two rare and historic assets from the recently closed Imperial Tobacco Horizon Factory in Nottingham. The first one is a bronze abstract sculpture by Ernst Eisenmayer commissioned for the plant, and the second one is no less than the beautiful wrought iron sign that decorated the main entrance.

The brand still exists today, owned by the Imperial Tobacco Group. You may still find the cigarettes easily then, but not the beautiful advertisements and curios on auction at John Pye…

Make sure to check out all John Player & Sons’s lots with John Pye and Barnebys.

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