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Thread: Wills's Sweet Chestnut Cutter-Top!

  1. #1


    7 members Liked or found this post helpful.

    Wills's Sweet Chestnut Cutter-Top!

    Got back home and bounced around for the lookings, was excited to find this old knife-lid as these packings really take my fancy and in my experience have always provided very well-preserved tobacco.

    It was from a Canadian antiques dealer and the asking price was overly high, I sent in an offer and was surprised when they accepted.

    Always a celebration to get a hold of one of these!

    I had previously found a 4oz. tin of this stuff, but it had be open for too long and was an unsmokeable superfunk, however, I was very impressed with the precision of manufacture and utmost care in packagaing, so the blend grabbed my attention, and it's always a neat thing when you can precisely put a concrete date on the tin as often you must make a guess of rough time period by gauging the various cluemarkers, the 4oz. tin had a US tax stamp Series 122, which places it to 1952.
    That old thing was here:
    http://pipesmokerunlimited.com/showt...Sweet-Chestnut

    So I am stoked and hopeful about the 2oz. tin as it appears to be in good order, and if all is well it should be a crackerjack of a good smoke.

    It also has tax stamps, but they're Canadian and I'm unfamiliar with their system, so I had to do a bit of looking up, based solely of what I can garner from the photos...

    ..when in actual hand, I will be able to examine more closely, especially the "cancel" stamp to see if it is legible to provide a concrete date, but going from the pictures and doing a little research leads me to believe that this is likely from the late 30's or early 40's.
    The stamp looks to be a Series of 1915. In 1942 they changed the font for the fractionals, so that puts it to prior 1942.

    Looking this stuff up invariably led me to the incredibly comprehensive papers of Christopher D. Ryan, who has assembled a rather large body of detailed work on the subject --- especially useful for me was Canadas Stamp Taxation of Tobacco Products,
    1864 - 1974


    Part 6 was very helpful:
    http://www.esjvandam.com/Tobacco%20E...20Part%206.pdf

    The full series, 1-10, if interested,
    can be found,
    here:
    http://www.esjvandam.com/stampshows.htm

    There's also this site,
    with some interesting articles:
    https://sites.google.com/site/canadi...ished_articles

    Something I found highly intriguing and of much interest was this subject:
    A discussion of the Secret Identification Marks on Canadian federal revenue stamps. These marks are also known as Hidden Letters.
    seen here:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/0nipifg97n...enues.pdf?dl=0

    I look forward to doing more reading and research and familiarizing myself further with the Canadian stamps.

    Anyway,
    It'll be fun to see if I can pinpoint a precise date when I get it, if not then no big loss as I'll be able do give it a rough estimate, and more than anything I just hope that it's well-preserved for an ultra-tasty smoking!

    Looking through price lists I noticed that the older packings were always priced a couple of shillings more than Wills standard fare, so it was a premium offering. I'm unsure if the later Skru-Vac tins also carried the upcharge, but by 1966 it would seem the blend would've been packed in the screwtops and the price list from then lists a 2oz. as 16/1, whereas for comparison, Bulwark was 12/9, Capstan was 14/-, Three Nuns was 13/9, etc.






  2. #2
    PSU Member Simon G's Avatar
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    Hereford. England
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    Simon
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    3 members Liked or found this post helpful.

    Congratulations on saving a lovely old tin from the 'great white north'! On seeing this I had the old nursery rhyme going round in my head but couldn't remember the words, so I googled it. I thought it was an age old rhyme, turns out it was a song by glen Miller in 1939! Interesting to see the price difference, two shillings more would of been a big deal back then. Should be a top notch smoke!
    St. Bruno simply satisfies!

  3. #3
    Moderator jimbo44's Avatar
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    1960
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    4 members Liked or found this post helpful.

    Not a favourite at the time - but so much better than many things now!
    Work is the curse of the smoking classes

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