What Is It? November 2018

 We had one correct guess for our November What Is It. Jerome McLaren of Conifer, Colorado identified the object as a cigar cutter. Congratulations! You have won a year’s subscription to the Mountain States Collector.    You don’t have to smoke cigars to enjoy collecting the wide variety of items created for them from the late 19th century into the early 20th. Historically, when they first became popular many different items were needed before they could be smoked. For example, in those days manufacturers didn’t make cigars with both ends open. A bit of the sealed end had to be removed to enable the smoker to draw the smoke into his mouth when the other end was lit. The cigar cutter solved the problem They became available at tobacco stores, as did lighters. For individual use there were match safes to hold matches. To keep the cigars from drying out humidors came into use along with fancy cigar boxes. The boxes became almost an art form made of materials such as tortoiseshell, silver and fine woods with interesting motifs. Elegant cabinets had sliding trays to hold the cigars. When they come to auction they can be prices in the thousands of dollars, depending on the quality.

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