Tobacciana includes all manner of Collectibles in the field of Smoking - including Cigarette Lighters and Holders, Ashtrays, Pipes and Pipe Holders, Cigarette Boxes, Humidors, Matches, Match Safes and Holders and any other items or Accessories used with Tobacco. Smoking has been a marked habit of mankind since the 16th Century and in spite of laws and threats, grew in popularity over the centuries from hand-rolled cigarettes to a huge modern Industry where dozens of companies made fortunes growing tobacco crops and manufacturing ready made cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco. Along with smoking came the accessories.
The Cigarette Lighters featured at The Glass Menagerie are all of Vintage age, are all in acceptable Collectible condition and all in good working order. All Lighters are shipped without fuel for safety. The larger Table Lighter models and the Novelty Lighters are becoming more and more scarce and increasing in value. Some of the first Lighters manufactured were during WWI. Over the years, thousands of Lighters were created from the most expensive Gold Plated, or Diamond Studded, or Sterling Silver pocket lighters to the highly decorative and functional table top items including Lighter, Ashtray and Cigarette Holder sets. Lighters were attached to key chains, bracelets, writing pens and walking canes. Noveltly lighters resembled anything and everything from tiny cameras and pistols to bullets, Coca-Cola bottles, beer cans, airplanes and water pumps. The list is endless and the interest in the subject has created a vast number of Collectors and Collector Clubs in North America.
Ashtrays & Accessories, portable and table lighters were a necessary requirement for smokers and were manufactured with as much creativity and design as the imagination could muster. Table ashtrays from the finest Hand Cut Lead Crystal to Fine China and interesting Pottery and Porcelain moulds. Advertising ashtrays were in every Casino, Hotel, Motel and Motor Inn. Automotive companies including Car Dealerships and Tire Manufacturers sold or gave ashtrays to clients and staff all advertising their company name. And don't forget the Bridge and Whist card parties, regular events that had at least 1 smoker at the table. Hundreds of small 4-piece sets designed to be used and stored for just the card party hours. And to hold the cigarettes or cigars were table cuspidors, cigarette boxes, snuff boxes and a wide variety of travelling combo sets. Again these aids were created and designed for a huge and lucrative market for both men and women and in a variety of mediums that lasted for several generations.
Today, smoking has become a generally unacceptable habit and health risk. Smoking is restricted in most public areas and the decrease in use has fewer manufacturers making Lighters or other Smoking accessories. Most Lighters are now disposable and inexpensive. Most ashtrays small and indistinctive. "No Smoking" signs are everywhere and even some new cars no longer have Lighers and Ashtrays as interior equipment.
Collecting Tobacciana, or smoking paraphernalia, has been growing over the last 10 years and while most items are still readily accessible at garage sales, second hand stores and flea markets, there are many long discontinued Smoking Collectibles that are hard to find. The most popular collectibles today in this category include the early Advertisments both on and off the products, Novelty and figural items, Gold and Sterling plated items, limited production items such as Commemorative and Political items, and certainly anything marked "Occupied Japan" which was manufactured only from 1945 to 1953. There are now many web sites with Buyers and Sellers along with Collector Clubs. And there are published Price Guide and Reference books for collectors to consult.
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