GENERAL

Tobacco’s Out – Tobacco Jars In

Smoking and chewing tobacco are definitely out of favor, but the popularity of tobacco accessories as collectors’ items and for home décor, continues to grow. Smoking was once the pastime of upper class gentlemen and early on, containers to hold and store tobacco were wildly popular. Although it comes as a surprise to some, personalized tobacco jars remain popular today.

Old World of Smoking Accessories
Innumerable items were once designed to accommodate the smoking habits of the wealthy and the availability of cleverly designed pieces was endless. Tobacco related accessories became increasingly imaginative and even intricately designed, proudly displayed in the homes of the rich and famous.

In 1860, Tiffany & Company made a silver cigar lighter and holder in exquisite detail that became a conversation piece as a table ornament. The lighter was a gift from August Belmont (1860 Chairman of the Democratic National Committee) to his banker partner, Charles Christmas. Collectors of tobacco related items still search for unusual items like this, including smoking stands, cigarette boxes, lighters, pipes, ashtrays and even packaging, posters, and magazine advertisements. The decorative tobacco jar is one of the most sought after smoking accessories on the market today.

Early Tobacco Jars
Uniquely designed and detailed tobacco jars have been around since the 1700’s. At one time tobacco leaves were even considered medicinal herbs of the highest value so early tobacco jars first resembled medicine bottles. Tobacco was sold and then dispensed from the jars in pharmaceutical, “apothecary” shops (the equivalent of our modern drugstores). Imagine? Tobacco sold as medicine!

Tobacco Jars Today
You would think that the decline in tobacco usage would signal the decline in the market for smoking gifts and accessories, but this is not entirely true. In generations past, tobacco accessories were designed to capture the imagination of the smoking public – a public now dwindling in numbers where smoking is considered almost “taboo”. Still, it is no mystery that the once revered ornamental tobacco jar continues to be a top seller. The jars are often beautifully crafted as well as functional and can add interest to tabletops, bookcases, offices, and even kitchen shelves.

Modern pieces are replicas of earlier containers, and are still made with the same original purpose in mind (to store tobacco leaves). Some people mistakenly think they are cookie jars or even powder jars but despite any misconceptions, they are now widely used for home decorating and all types of storage. Personalized tobacco jars are increasingly popular today, including those designed and made by Delft, the famous ceramics company out of Holland. Delft is a type of earthenware which is clay covered with an opaque tin bearing glaze and then often, but not always painted and finally fired. Delft tobacco jars are sought after wedding, graduation, and special occasion gifts, and though they may no longer used to store tobacco leaves, they are often purchased solely for their decorative appeal. Tobacco jar gifts are in great demand today.

It is true that smoking is no longer a popular pastime, but the decorative tobacco jar has become one of the most sought after Pipe tobacco near me representations of bygone eras available – beautiful in its own right, and a
treasured possession that has earned its place in modern homes and in history. This old epigram told the story of a favored tobacco jar, and it tells the story again now.

There are jars of jelly, jars of jam
Jars of potted beef and ham;
But welcome most to me by far
Is my dear old tobacco jar.

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