Tobacciana Collectibles

1930 Smoking Tobacco Cardboard Stand

1930 Smoking Tobacco Cardboard Stand

Tobacciana is anything related to tobacco companies and their products. Tobacco advertising and memorabilia has been one of the most desirable collector categories for many years.

Tobacco cigarette smoking started in the 1850’s when people rolled their pipe tobacco in newsprint, then it evolved into the commercialization of smoking tobacco brands. Popular advertising memorabilia for tobacco cigarettes includes tobacco tins, matchbooks, tobacco cards, lunch box tin, cardboard stands and advertising signs. Offset lithography was an efficient way to print on tin in the 1870’s. Printing on tin was vital to tobacco companies because it sealed the tobacco from the air to prevent drying it out and safeguarded it from getting lost or destroyed.

Tobacco Tins

1910-1920 Union Leader Cut Plug Tobacco Tins

1910-1920 Union Leader Cut Plug Tobacco Tins

Tobacco tins were made in only a few types of shapes and styles. Boxes and cylinders were utilized for bulk tobacco and smaller pocket tins were flat or concave to fit in a pocket.  Lunch box tins had wire handles on the box for smokers and their kids to carry their lunches to work or school. The tobacco tins were decorated with the company’s logo and artwork that stated slogans such as ”Sensation Smoking Tobacco” and “ Cut Plug Smoking or Chew” and “Sweet Mist Taste Great”.

1917 Tobacco Yankee Boy Pocket Tin

Tobacco Pocket Tin Yankee Boy

The lithographed artwork on tobacco tins was the best way for the product to stand out on the shelves of a general store or a tobacco shop. Popular designs on the tins were birds, animals, street scenes and sailors in the Navy. Players is a well-known tobacco-tin brand and their Navy Cut cigarettes depicted a sailor with a life-preserver. Another tobacco-tin brand Hignett had Pilot Flake cigarettes featured a sea-captain holding a ship’s wheel.

Other tobacco companies used persuasive branding names such as Winner and Fashion on the tobacco tins.  By the 1920’s, tobacco tins also featured early celebrities and sports figures such as Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb. Those are some of the most valuable Tobacciana collectibles today.

Cigar and Pipe Memorabilia

1910′s F. R. Rice Co. Mercantile Cigars Tin Sign

1910′s F. R. Rice Co. Mercantile Cigars Tin Sign

Other popular Tobacciana keepsakes include pipes and cigar memorabilia. Pipes were the first form of smoking in the 1600’s and historic pipes were made from clay, bone, wood and metal.

Cigars have their own set of collectibles including cigar boxes, lighters, humidors, cigar cutters and signs.


Goldsmith, Silver & Co. M.C.A. 10ct Cigar Serving Tray. Ca. 1900

GOLDSMITH, SILVER & Co.’s M.C.A. Cigars provided appeal!

Featured is a beautifully illustrated cigar box full of cigars from the Goldsmith, Silver and Company for their M.C.A. brand of 10 cent cigars. This Boston, MA based company produced this small serving tray around 1900. I love the coloring, and the image of a ready to serve appeal full of very well defined cigars…

A framed painting of a man


Here is a great lithograph from the Temple Plug Chewing Tobacco for their cut plug brand of tobacco. An interesting type of black americana which was common for tobacco in this era. This fancy chew is advertised on this one, the man looks like he is sheepishly enjoying the product.

Sunset Trail Tobacco Tin 5 cents. Circa 1910


Here is a beautiful tin chewing tobacco tin from the Sunset Trail brand of smoking tobacco. The image features a man and woman riding their horses into the sunset. The clearly detailed cost of just 5 cents either expensive at the time this was made, indicating a quality brand, whereas most tobacco products of that…

Brinkmann, Meisel, & Recker Tobacco Tin, St. Louis, MO. Circa 1920

Brinkmann, Reisel & Recker B.M.R. Tobacco Tin, St. Louis, MO

Here is a neat old tobacco tin from a long defunct tobacco cigar manufacturing company which was based in Saint Louis, Missouri in the early 1900’s. Due to the long length of names from the three owners, the brand was simply shortened to B.M.R. Obviously it was easier to ask for an abbreviated name cigar,…

La Preferencia Cigars Lithograph, Havana, Cuba. Circa 1910


Featured here is a beautiful lithographic print framed for the La Preferencia brand of cigars.  This particular lithograph has a great slogan which says “30 minutes in Havana”.   Clearly this refers to a great 30 minute smoke in Havana with a Cuban cigar!!   This sign was made back before there was a moratorium for Cuban…

Velvet Tobacco Lithograph, Liggett & Myers Tobacco Co., Circa 1900


Featured is a brilliantly colored lithographic print advertising the Liggett and Myers Company flagship brand, Velvet Tobacco.  The upper corner shows the small tin Velvet Tobacco pocket tin can, and this is the only thing on the lithograph featuring any form of advertising whatsoever.   Liggett and Myers could do this as the brand was so…

St. Bruno Standard Dark Flake Tobacco Sign, Richmond, VA. Ca. 1920


The Saint Bruno Standard Dark Flake Smoking Tobacco was a large seller for years, and still was in business as late as the 1970’s being sold in tobacco shops all around the European area as well as inside the United States.  This particular metal sign is very colorful, and certainly would have garnered the attention…