Collecting Tobacciana / Smoking Collectibles, taxonomy

Collecting smoking memorabilia has been a growing hobby worldwide. Of course the amount of tobacciana collectibles is so big that different collectible branches emerged. Below the top 5 most popular tobacco & smoking collectibles:
  1. Matchboxes and matchbooks - the most popular tobacciana collectible worldwide. The main reason for such popularity was the accessibility of matchboxes and matchbooks, their low price and the great variety of matchcovers (labels) that have been used as a form of advertising since 1894. Since then they have attracted people who enjoy the hobby of collecting different match-related items. Phillumeny also known as Phillumenism became especially widespread from the 1960s through the 1980s. 
  2. Pocket lighters - this portable devices used to generate a flame is closely connected with the Ronson company which in 1926 introduced the first automatic flame pocket lighter called Banjo. This innovation become an over helming inspiration for many entrepreneurs who established such brands like Dunhill, Colibri, KW or Zippo. The most collectible lighters nowadays are Zippos. 
  3. Ashtrays - in the 1930s till the 1960s ashtrays were very common interior items available in almost every room at home, office, restaurants etc. Since the 1940s the ashtrays have been a popular advertising vehicle. Collectors look for ashtrays with clever and unusual ads, colors, shapes and sizes. Later beginning from the 1970s smoking become less popular and ashtrays in public are becoming increasingly rare due to the proliferation of smoking bans.
  4. Smoking pipes - have been used since ancient times. Herodotus described Scythians inhaling the fumes of burning leaves in 500 B.C. Romans, and Greeks adopted pipes from their neighbors to the east and they were subsequently used by Germanic, Celtic and Nordic tribes. Later tobacco was introduced to Europe from the Americas in the 16th century and spread around the world.
  5. Cigarette cards - also known as tobacco cards are trade cards issued since 1875 by tobacco manufacturers to stiffen cigarette packaging and advertise cigarette brands. Popular themes were 'beauties' (famous actresses, film stars and models), sporters (in the US mainly baseball, in the rest of the world mainly football and cricket), nature, military heroes and uniforms, heraldry and city views. Early in 2007, a world record price was paid in America for a single card - $2,350,000, or roughly equivalent to around £1,200,000. This card was sold later on in the year for another world record price $2,800,000 (approximately £1,500,000) The card in question featured Honus Wagner, one of the great names in U.S. baseball at the turn of the 20th century.

Other tobacciana memorabilia (antique, vintage and novelty):
  • advertiser display,
  • cases,
  • Chesterfield pipes die cut,
  • cigar and tobacco tins,
  • cigar-bands,
  • cigar-box labels,
  • cigarette lighters,
  • cigarette wall racks,
  • cigarette, cigar and tobacco advertising (magazine adverts, signs etc.),
  • cigarette-insert-cards,
  • cigarettes,
  • cigars,
  • cigar cutters,
  • counter bins,
  • counter stands,
  • felts,
  • hookahs,
  • lighters instructions,
  • matchbooks,
  • matchboxes,
  • match holders,
  • old cigarette-packets and tobacco labels,
  • papers,
  • pipe and counter display, 
  • pipes,
  • plates,
  • posters,
  • prints,
  • signs,
  • silks,
  • table and desk lighters,
  • tags,
  • tins,
  • tobacco cards,
  • tobacco packs,
  • trench lighters,
  • water pipes,
  • wings cigarettes.


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