Book review: Smoking Antiques by Amoret and Christopher Scott

This post starts a series of book reviews on cigarette lighters and other smoking accessories.
  • Full title: Smoking Antiques (Shire Album No. 66)
  • Authors: Amoret Scott, Christopher Scott
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Number of pages: 32
  • Publisher: Shire Publications Ltd.
  • Publishing date: 1981
  • Language: English
  • Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.8 inches
  • ISBN 10: 0852635400    
  • ISBN 13: 9780852635407
  • Status: Out of Print
  • Availability: used and new at Amazon
  • Price range: $2-$10


Description of the book provided by the publisher:

Since tobacco was brought to Europe from America, where it was widely used by native Indians, its consumption has formed a significant aspect of social life. Different methods of taking tobacco have come into and gone out of fashion and as a result of an enormous range of objects connected with smoking and snuff taking has been produced, much of it of great potential appeal to the present-day collector. For the pipe smoker there were clay pipes and racks for holding them, pipes of meerschaum (sepiolit), porcelain and briar (wood), and tobacco jars and boxes. The vogue for taking snuff led to the production of many beautiful snuff boxes and accessories. When cigars ousted snuff in the early nineteenth century the cigar case took over from the snuffbox as the subject of elaborate decoration and smokers also needed cigar cutters and holders. Primitive lighters, early matches and their containers are an interesting sideline. In this book the authors examine these and other smoking antique, including printed ephemera, from the collector's point of view and provide the historical background of smoking. 

Amoret and Christopher Scott have written many books, including Discovering Stately Homes and Staffordshire Figures for Shire, but most of them are about antiques and they have made several television appearances with their collections. Amoret Scott is a founder member of the Ephemera Society and items from her collection have been shown in exhibitions and displays throughout Britain and the United States. She is a travel consultant for visitors to Britain.



The tobacco story 3
Foreign pipes 7
Clay pipes 8
Meerschaum pipes 10
Porcelain pipes 10
Briar pipes and others 11
Tobacco jars 12
Tobacco boxes 14
Pipe racks 15
Smoker's tongs 16
Stoppers 18
Matches and match containers 19
Lighters 22
Snuff and snuffboxes 22
Cigars 29
Cigarettes 30
Ephemera 30
Clothes 32


Sample pages:

Information on lighters are limited to minimum although many other subjects 
are covered as you would expect from this small publication



This little book makes an overall good impression. It is not a reference book but rather a brief story of the world of tobacciana collectibles like: pipes, tobacco jars, tobacco boxes, pipe racks, smokers; tongs, stoppers, matches and match containers, lighters, snuff and snuffboxes, cigars, ephemera and even clothes. The approachable writing style as well as the selection of facts make it a light and quick read. The booklet lacks an index and bibliography which can be excused taking into account its moderate content. A lighter collector won't find much information on lighters but may find interesting to read and see the variety of clay and porcelain pipes or decorative meerschaum cigar holders.

The 36 black and white photographs are high quality - they are clear, optimal sized, well organized and what is even more important, all of them are equipped with comprehensive captions.

I recommend this low priced (used) booklet for beginners and those beyond lighter collectors who would like to get a broader view of the world of smoking antiques without getting too much involved in details. It is short enough to read it conveniently anywhere including a bathtub.

Rating: Good (3/6)


Post a Comment