Tobacco became popular in Europe in the 1600's, after traders brought back tobacco plants from the Americas. Pipes, borrowed from the Native Americans, were the first popular method of smoking, and were made of wood, bone, clay, and even metal. Some of the most valuable antique pipes are those made of meerschaum, a rare white stone.

Cigars, which have long been popular in Central and South America, have a whole set of collectibles associated with them, including cigar boxes, humidors, cigar cutters, and special cigar lighters.

Next came the cigarette, popularized during the Crimean war when soldiers would roll their pipe tobacco in newsprint. Related collectibles include tobacco tins, tobacco cards, ashtrays, matchbooks, and vintage advertising and signs. Over the years, tobacco companies created iconic logos like Zig-Zag's Zouave and The Camel (later Joe Camel), and put their slogans on everything from clothing to posters to statuettes.

Cigarette lighters are a category all their own, with major brands including Zippo, Ronson, and Dunhill. There's a wide variety of lighters to collect in every material imaginable. Although lighters haven't changed much from their original designs in the early 1900s, the older the lighter, the more decorated they tend to be. And don't forget the lighter's precursor, the lowly but often highly ornamented match holder (aka match safe).

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Match World

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Kensitas Silk Flowers

Kensitas Silk Flowers

Don Wearmouth and his wife showcase the 230 beautiful silk designs that were distributed free with Kensitas cigaret… [read review or visit site]

Matchbox Labels

Matchbox Labels

Jane McDevitt's huge Flickr photoset of matchbox labels, primarily Eastern European, from the 1950s and 60s. These … [read review or visit site]

Truth in Advertising

Truth in Advertising

This gallery of cigarette magazine advertising from the 1940s and 50s contains no surgeon general's warning, just p… [read review or visit site]

Matchbook Museum

Matchbook Museum

James Lileks' gallery of 400 matchbooks from coffee shops, hotels, motels, bars, banks, restaurants and more. Lilek… [read review or visit site]

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Recent News: Tobacciana

Source: Google News

Meal Ticket: Eat and drink, life is beautiful
Irish Independent, April 18th

Places like The Dawson Lounge (Ireland's smallest pub) or any number of wooden-walled snugs in any number of tobacco-yellow boozers, where sounds ripple rather than ring: a hushed conversation, ice shifting in a glass, the barman's hum. Backwaters of...Read more

Distinctive wine flavours, from guava to asphalt to unlit cigars: Gord on Grapes
Toronto Star, April 18th

A gorgeous nose of tobacco-box, lilacs, lavender and black cherry leads to a gush of blackberry, mocha and vanilla-bean flavours. A dangerous hint of ... The previous vintage found favour with Toronto's espresso crowd. Unlike coffee, it won't wake you up...Read more

Bristol Post, April 18th

Bristol-born artisan chocolatier Zara Narracott, 25, and Xanthe Ivory, 28, a florist who hails from Somerset, met at the bustling Tobacco Factory Sunday market and decided to combine their passions. The shop on North Street opened its doors last...Read more

The Naked Vine: Only through time, tasting can you decide how much oak is ..., April 17th

Second, as the wine seeps into the grain of the wood, it picks up chemical compounds that imparts certain flavors and aromas — usually vanilla, tobacco, spice and a “toasty” flavor. The wine also picks up tannins from the wood itself, which are a...Read more

Wine Pairings for Easter from Ancona's Wines
HamletHub, April 17th

That coupled with a slightly cooler 2010 vintage with longer hang-time resulting in expressive fruit and the classic combination of viscosity and "nerve" (the French word for crisp natural fruit acidity). The wine aged 20 months in French, American...Read more

Bet you can't pass THIS new SAT
Washington Post (blog), April 16th

(1) She dropped a handkerchief, serendipitously, and then picked up very slowly and VERY serendipitously, almost as serendipitously as the lady in that poster for the vintage film “Serendipity” featuring John Cusack and the sexy windblown lady who did...Read more

War breaks out
Daily News Egypt, April 15th

Have done for years courtesy of the Danish Pipe Shop in Copenhagen who're repairing the shank on a favourite, a vintage Canadian-style briar with a billiard bowl beloved by the likes of Sadat. I started smoking ... Walking across to the Shahab Street...Read more

Vintage glamour in a charm-filled town
Southland Times, April 12th

History lessons aside, you see that Napier really is a beautiful spot, from the views up Bluff Hill, the deco sophistication of the National Tobacco Company's 1933 offices, to the modern city with its port-side apartments. The trust's Art Deco Centre...Read more