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Precis of Cigar-Label Art Books

by Benjamin Rapaport


Davidson, The Art of The Cigar Label (1989). Now in its second printing after having sold 25,000 copies, this hard cover book with dust jacket illustrates the American cigar label in 250 pages of full-color illustrations organized thematically. Joe Davidson is a well-known authority on cigar-box labels and operates The American Antique Graphics Society of Medina, Ohio


Nuñez Jiménez., Marquillas Cigarreras Cubanas (1989) is an import from Spain, authored by one of the most distinguished scholars of Cuba whose life has been devoted to the tobacco plant. In this, his fourth book, Nuñez Jiménez offers his insights into the earliest lithographic examples of Spanish and Cuban cigar-box labels, exquisitely photographed in full color in a 130-pp hardcover book with dust jacket.


Hyman, Handbook of American Cigar Boxes (1979). Still in print after almost 20 years in circulation, this book, written by the man known as :Mr. Cigar USA", is the only volume wholly devoted to the history of cigar packaging from its inception. It is an easy read about fascinating aspect of the American cigar industry, as seen by one of the most respected authorities on the subject. Handbook is fully illustrated as a 165-pp hardbound book with dust jacket.


Petrone, Tobacco Advertising: The Great Seduction (1996) is, without doubt, the most lushly illustrated book to document the American tobacco industry’s products ever published. Written by an M.D. whose passion for collecting tobacco advertising is unparalleled, Petrone has assembled a remarkable array of tobacco products, including cigar-box labels and bands, and presented them in extraordinary color in a 270-pp opus magnum. Included in this book is a list of current values.


Grafton, Old-Time Labels (1996) is a folio-sized portfolio of 89 rare cigar labels reproduced in full color and presented on alternate pages so that they can be cut out for various uses. The 89 labels are arranged in 24 numbered plates in a soft cover illustrated cover.


Art Gallery of Windsor (Canada), NICO (1982) is a soft cover exhibition catalog of a selection of original painted designs for cigar-box labels from the period 1895-1920 from the Museum’s collection. The catalog results from an exhibition titled These Ambrosial Clouds, May 1982 - July 1984 that circulated among some 20 Canadian art galleries. Most of the designs in the catalog are from the Calvert Lithographing Company of Detroit, Michigan.


Menocal, The Tobacco Industry in Cuba and Florida: Its Golden Age in Lithography and Architecture (Cuban Cigar Labels) (1995). Like the catalog from the Windsor Art Gallery (Canada), this soft cover 48-pp brochure results from an exhibition of labels held at the Historical Museum of Southern Florida (October 1995 - January 1996), and has been rotating among museums in the southeast ever since. Individuals and institutions have loaned priceless labels for inclusion in the exhibition and the catalog, which also includes an interesting history of the evolution and development of the Cuban lithography industry.


Westfall, Key West: Cigar City U.S.A. (1984) Dr. Westfall, a native of Florida and a knowledgeable expert in the history of the growth of Ybor City, has compiled an interesting monograph about Key West and its cigar industry which, in interspersed, includes black & white reproductions of rare labels from the late 19th and early 20th century. At the rear is an excellent bibliography for the collector and would-be researcher. The 71-pp monograph is softbound in illustrated boards.


Ed's Note:

Ben is extremely knowledgeable and sells tobacco related books at the best prices I know about. Contact Ben at: Antiquarian Tobacciana, 11505 Turnbridge Ln, Reston, VA 20194-1220
Phone: (703) 435-8133 (evenings 10pm EST)


Copyright © 1997 The Cigar-Label Gazette, P.O. Box 3, Lake Forest, CA 92630

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