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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Recent News: Tobacciana

Source: Google News

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

Ferrari reveals one-off F12berlinetta Tour de France 64
LeftLane News, January 25th

Most of the updates are found in the cockpit, where the F12 gains body-colored aluminum trim with yellow accents and seats upholstered with vintage-looking tobacco heritage Mahagoni leather upholstery. A triangular metal pattern on the floor harks back...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

Letters: Churchill 50 years on – saying farewell to a courageous wartime leader, January 24th

SIR – Churchill wished for a contingent from the Combined Cadet Force of Harrow School, where he had received his first military training in the 1880s, to line the Palace Yard at Westminster during his funeral. I was a member of the contingent chosen...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

North Carolina's wine industry booming
The Pendulum, January 23rd

Wine is proliferating in North Carolina for mainly the same reason tobacco did — the climate is diverse and suitable for growing the crop, as both wine grapes and tobacco need long growing seasons to reach full maturity. ... “Most of the time we sell...Read more

A Monk's Interests Captured on Camera
New York Times, January 22nd

During an exhibition preview, Jennifer B. Lee, a curator at the library, pulled the black camera out of a leather case that smelled of tobacco smoke and incense. It was apparently never used again after Merton's death. Griffin, who had lent the Alpa to...Read more