These beautiful cards from the late 1920s come from the collection of the New York Public Libraries, and are part of a much broader collection of fifty cards dealing with historic Irish place names. They were produced by Player’s Cigarettes in two sets of twenty-five, and while I’ve just chosen a selection of Dublin related cards here, the whole collection is worth seeing. They include some beautiful traditional iconography and are today very collectable. Credit is due to the NYPL for scanning them and making them available online to the public.
According to Adam’s auctioneers and to the National Library of Ireland, they are the work of the celebrated artist Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957), who is today best remembered for works like The Liffey Swim. Indeed, that particular painting was so celebrated it won him an Olympic medal in 1924. His medal can be seen on this page of the National Gallery website, where it is noted that “art competitions formed part of the modern Olympic Games during its early years, from 1912 to 1948.” Given that his brother William won the Novel Prize for Literature the year previously, they were good times for the Yeats siblings.