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

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

Special Ferrari F12 Berlinetta Honors 250 GTO's Victory In 1964 Tour de France ...
Motor Authority, January 26th

The interior is mostly black, with designers choosing a tobacco-colored leather to give a vintage look. This is contrasted with some more advanced materials including SuperFabric, which Ferrari describes as a bulletproof material with a 3D texture. It...Read more

A Day at the Races: Handicapping '05-Era CMBS, January 25th

NEW YORK CITY—You can make the argument that refinancing peak-era CMBS loans has something of a horse race about it. There are favorites and also-rans, handicaps and, of course, a time limit for crossing the finish line. With a number of large-scale ...Read more

What We're Drinking – 2010 Val di Suga Brunello di Montalcino DOCG
Palate Pres, January 25th

At a recent tasting of the newly released five-star 2010 vintage of Brunello di Montalcino, I had a chance to go through several wines in depth at a seminar. But the seminar sample of Val di Suga's was flat and not that interesting, so I headed down to...Read more

Character Mortdecai has much in common with creator Kyril Bonfiglioli
Los Angeles Times, January 25th

This was all true of Bonfiglioli, who described himself as "an accomplished fencer, a fair shot with most weapons" and "abstemious in all things except drink, food, tobacco and talking." He wrote self-effacingly, but perhaps accurately, that he was...Read more

Age does not spike value for ironstone utility ware
Arizona Daily Star, January 25th

Antique and vintage motorcycles are collected as avidly as automobiles. In a recent Las Vegas sale, ... I'm sure many readers have seen Tea Leaf, Tobacco Leaf and other botanical themes done in copper luster on ironstone. As far as value goes, the...Read more

Is The Bull Market Back At Baseball Card And Autograph Shows?
Forbes, January 24th

If you've read my other posts, you can tell that I really enjoy attending a good baseball card show to swap stories with other baseball history fans and revel in vintage tobacco and gum cards, But for the past year I have worried that these events are...Read more

Hill Wine Company, a Criminal Case and Intrigue in Napa Valley
New York Times, January 24th

(He later tasted Hill's top-end cabernet and found it green and underripe, but not unusual for the 2011 Napa vintage.) ... During a five-hour meeting in April, two agents from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, the federal agency that...Read more

Dry German Rieslings are top-notch
Cape Gazette, January 23rd

He joined with James Stewart in 2012 using juice from the Max and Red Hen vineyards to produce a 100 percent Cab named Hollis Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, a black ruby opaque beauty that suggested the complex bouquet of black fruit, cherries...Read more