By Hayley Pugh
Rare paintings from England’s last tobacco factory which show children playing with cigarettes are set to go up for auction.
The artwork, which has never been on public display, show glamorous women smoking, children handing out cigarettes and even a toddler trying to light a giant cigarette while sitting on it.
The rare paintings are up for sale following the closure of Imperial Tobacco’s Horizon factory in Nottingham in March last year.
The pictures formed part of the company’s advertising campaign and were created before the health risks of smoking were known.
They were displayed across the factory’s five floors, including production floors, office space, conference rooms and canteens.
More than 120 artefacts from the factory – which once produced 36 billion cigarettes a year – are being auctioned off by John Pye auctions.
Trevor Palethorpe, national head of corporate valuations at John Pye Auctions, said: “This is an opportunity to purchase rare paintings and other artefacts which have only ever been owned by one major institution and have only been seen by a small number of people as they have never been put on public display.
“Being a Nottingham firm we are incredibly proud to be working with Imperial Tobacco to sell what is a very interesting and eclectic range of pieces that have a strong history attached to them.
“I envisage a great deal of interest in this sale so advise interested parties to view the lots and bid at their earliest convenience.”
The Imperial Tobacco factory was built in the 1960s and opened in 1972. In its heyday employed more than 1000 staff.
The online auction, which has already started, finishes at noon on June 7.