Card of the Day - 2022-04-11

W675-484 : W62-345 : W/144A [tobacco : UK] W.D. & H.O. Wills 'Scissors' brand "Beauties - Picture Hats" untitled (September ĺ914) 12/32
W.D. & H.O. Wills 'Scissors' brand [tobacco : UK] "Beauties - Picture Hats" untitled (September 1914) 12/32 - W675-484 : W62-345 : W/144A

And this third clue was the Easter Bonnet, complete with flowers.

These cards are lithographed in colour on a white background. Our original Wills reference book part four tells us this printing was issued between 1910 and 1915 in India. Ones with a different back showing a star and circle branding plus rather bold leaves at the edges and corners were also issued elsewhere overseas by Wills at the same time. And a plain back version is also known, but these are presumed to be from printer's proofs. 

By the time of our next Wills reference book, part five, a bit more had been discovered. Firstly, the date of issue had been set to September 1914. That was a busy month for Wills, as three sets appeared in the 'Scissors' brand, "Famous Footballers"  (W675-496 : W62-355 : W/205A), "Britain's Defenders" (W675-487 C, D and E : W62-345 C, D and E : W/51 C, D and E),  and these "Beauties -  Picture Hats".

Something more important is recorded too, for the British American Tobacco lists this set not as "Beauties - Picture Hats" but as "Quinnell Heads" and this is a vital clue, for it gives us the artist, Cecil Watson Quinnell. I am not certain that this link to the hidden treasure has ever been followed before, which gives me rather a thrill. He was a painter, and book illustrator, specialising in watercolours, and you can actually see him, at Wikitree/Quinnell175 - they give his place of birth as Lahore, in May 1868, but other places give Meerut as his birthplace. His father was a surgeon, presumably in the Army, but definitely in the forces, and he moved to England in the late 1870s, after his wife died, in 1877, in India, and remarried, taking his remaining children with him, some having also died young in India. 

Cecil Watson Quinnell was married, just before the turn of the nineteenth century, and had a son shortly afterwards. We also know he was a member of The Royal Society of British Artists, 

He died in 1932.